The Country Gentleman: A "Lost" Play and Its Background [Reprint 2016 ed.] 9781512802641

This edition makes available for the first time The Country Gentleman, a play written by Sir Robert Howard and the Duke

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The Country Gentleman: A "Lost" Play and Its Background [Reprint 2016 ed.]
 9781512802641

Table of contents :
Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: From Political Scandal to Literary Discovery
Notes
An Explanation of Textual Policy
The Country Gentleman
Appendix A: Note on Imported Wines
Appendix B: Textual Notes

Citation preview

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THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN

dxb

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN SIR ROBERT HOWARD AND

GEORGE VILLIERS Second Duke of Buckingham A "Lost" Play and Its Background Edited by ARTHUR H. SCOUTEN AND

ROBERT D. HUME

University

of Pennsylvania 1976

Press

Copyright © 1976 by the University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc. All rights reserved Library of Congress Catalog Card N u m b e r : 75-41621 ISBN (cloth): 0-8122-7705-8 ISBN (paper): 0-8122-1086-7 Printed in the United States of America

%rh> Annick Scouten-JZouet and JCathryn Hume

S CONTENTS

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: From Political Scandal to Literary Discovery Notes An Explanation of Textual Policy THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN Appendix A: Note on Imported Wines Appendix B: Textual Notes

vii

ix xi 1 40 45 47 155 157

S PREFACE

Among the sixty-odd unprinted Restoration plays known once to have existed, none has seemed so tantalizing as The Country Gentleman. It was written by Sir Robert Howard and George Villiers, Second Duke of Buckingham, two of the best nonprofessional dramatists of the early Restoration, and its satire provoked a scandal which rocked the government of England in the spring of 1669. Banned before performance, and very naturally never published, the play has always been presumed lost. Fortunately, Pepys and other contemporaries recorded the whole affair in some detail, and their descriptions of the play's central satiric scene have enabled us to identify an untitled, undated, anonymous manuscript in the Folger Library as a complete scribal copy of the Howard and Buckingham play. This find is only the second such recovery of a "lost" Restoration play in the twentieth century. Happily, the comedy turns out to have considerable literary interest and merit, as well as a spicy background. We present here a complete edition of the Folger manuscript. Our introductory essay contains an account of the play and its place in Restoration comedy. But beyond that it recounts a lurid tale of political intrigue, a prevented duel ix

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between members of the King's Privy Council, and a fall from high office. For those curious about how literary "discoveries" come about, we have added a brief explanation of this one. It amounts to a literary detective story—a modishly frustrating one, for though we now have the play, we have no idea where this copy came from: its whereabouts between the 1690s and 1947 (when the Folger bought it) remain a puzzle. September

1975

AHS & RDH

¿ ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We are indebted to Ο. B. Hardison, Jr., Director, and to the Trustees of the Folger Shakespeare Library for permission to publish this edition of Folger MS. V.b. 228. To Professors Harold F. Brooks, Judith Milhous, Irène Simon, and John Harold Wilson we owe thanks for advice, criticism, and encouragement. The identification of the manuscript was announced in The Times Literary Supplement (London), 28 September 1973. We are grateful to the editor for allowing us to use some of our material from that preliminary account of the play.

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S INTRODUCTION From Political Scandal to Literary Discovery THE SUPPRESSION OF THE PLAY The story begins with Buckingham's ambitions. The celebrated son of James I's assassinated favorite had already enjoyed a remarkably checkered career. Born in 1628, he had fought in the civil wars, racketed about in exile with Charles II in the early 1650s, returned to England to make his peace with Oliver Cromwell, and married the wealthy daughter of a distinguished Parliamentary generell, Lord Fairfax. This alliance proved no bar to his resuming his place in Charles II's court after the Restoration of the monarchy in May 1660. In the decade which followed, Buckingham partied, wenched, frolicked with his retainers—and schemed to make himself the most powerful man in England. Characterizing him as Zimri in Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Dryden called him A man so various, that he seem'd to be Not one, but all Mankinds Epitome. Stiff in Opinions, always in the wrong; Was every thing by starts, and nothing long: But, in the course of one revolving Moon, Was Chymist, Fidler, States-Man, and Buffoon:

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Then all for Women, Painting, Rhiming, Drinking; Besides ten thousand freaks that dy'd in thinking. Blest Madman, who coud every hour employ, With something New to wish, or to enjoy!

Exactly what Buckingham wanted he may not have known himself, but he applied his brilliant and undisciplined talents to political mischief with considerable success. In the summer of 1667 (after a four-month period of outlawry while coping with a perjured accusation of treason) Buckingham joined the wolfpack which dragged Lord Chancellor Clarendon out of office and drove him into exile. By the beginning of 1668 his eminence in the King's councils made him "practically the Prime Minister of the new administration. It was to him that the foreign Ministers applied 'before they were admitted to have audience with the king . . . who consulted him chiefly in all matters of moment.' In truth, at this period Arlington was his only serious competitor in the Government." 1 Sparring cautiously with the dangerous Lord Arlington, Buckingham set out to destroy those who would not join him. Secretary Morrice lost his job to Sir James Trevor, and after a long battle Buckingham scored a major success in February 1669 when Ormond, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was recalled and deprived of office. One cannot discuss politics of the 1660s in terms of parties in the modern sense, but sympathy blocs, common interest groups, and personal alliances there were aplenty. Scholars speak, necessarily loosely, of "court" and "country" parties. The court group especially was both heterogeneous and sharply divided between Yorkists—those in sympathy with the King's brother and heir, James Duke of York—and non-Yorkists. Buckingham and his cohorts, Sir Robert Howard among them (a group sardonically dubbed "the Undertakers"), were decidedly of the latter persuasion. Wild rumors were circulating. "The Duke of Buckingham hath a mind to overthrow all the kingdom, and bring in a Commonwealth, wherein he may think to be General of their Army, or to make himself King" (Pepys, 23 November 1668). Looking for

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support anywhere he might find it, Buckingham was prepared to woo the country party. This then was the political situation in the winter of 1668-69 when he set out to destroy Sir William Coventry. Coventry was a stubbornly independent and honorable Commissioner of the Treasury, and worse, a Yorkist. Characteristically, Buckingham seems to have started by proposing an alliance—which was refused. If Coventry would not join, he must be beaten. By 23 October 1668, Pepys was writing: "Pierce do tell me . . . that the Duke of Buckingham . . . will ruin Coventry if he can." The device Buckingham hit on was cruelly effective. Into a new play by his friend Howard, Buckingham inserted a savage and very recognizable lampoon of the proud and humorless Coventry. Exactly what the result would be he could not know, but events proved the soundness of the scheme. Coventry heard of the plan, could not ignore the insult, and ruined himself by responding to it. The town first heard of the matter when confused rumors began to circulate about a duel—between whom and for what reason no one could be sure. On Monday 1 March 1668/9 Pepys reported: I was most of all surprised this morning by my Lord Bellassis, who . . . tells me of a duell designed between the Duke of Buckingham and my Lord Halifax,2 or Sir W. Coventry; the challenge being carried by Harry Saville, but prevented by my Lord Arlington, and the King told of it; and this was all the discourse at Court this day.

By the next day more facts were available. In a newsletter dated 2 March, John Starkey wrote to Sir Willoughby Aston: There was a challenge lately intended for the Duke of Buckingham upon S r William Coventrys account, which was discovrd by a Letter sent to him from M r Henry Savil to know when he would be certainly at home and might be spoake with, which with some other items may be understood to be the forerunner of a chalenge. The occasion this, there was a new play to be acted on Saturday last called

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the Country gentleman, said to be made by the Duke & Sr Rob 1 Howard, wherein tis said that the Earle of Clarendon, Sr W: Coventry and some other Courtiers are plainly personated, but especially S r William in the midst of his table of Writings, this he (or some of his relations) would not brooke, but whether he or the L d Hallifax was to fight the Duke is not knowne. But the King hath prevented all; and the play is not acted. (B.M. Add. MS. 36,916, f. 128)

O n W e d n e s d a y 3 M a r c h J o h n N i c h o l a s w r o t e to his father, Sir E d w a r d N i c h o l a s : We have had much discourse about a Challenge & a Duell . . . the whole busines seemes a Mystery. . . . It seemes some more sagatious then ordinary acquainted the King w , h their suspitions & so the designe if there were any was prevented. The World will have it that its occasioned by a new Play made by Sir Rob: Howard called the Country Genti in w c h y e Duke of Bucks hath incerted a part to personate S r W m Coventry sitting in the midst of a Table w , h papers round him to w c h he can easily turne himself round on his chaire as he pleases, such an one it seemes he hath, but there are other circumstances in y e part likewise more abusive, there are others personated also in that Play as i heare, my L d Chanc r , S r Jo: Duncomb. It hath not yet been acted, & the King they say hath forbidden it. (Egerton MS. 2539, ff. 327 v -328)

N i c h o l a s is correct in s a y i n g t h a t C o v e n t r y ' s f r i e n d a n d coll e a g u e Sir J o h n D u n c o m b is s a t i r i z e d ; b o t h h e a n d S t a r k e y a r e c o m p l e t e l y w r o n g in t h i n k i n g C l a r e n d o n an object of t h e satire, t h o u g h t h e r u m o r w a s natural e n o u g h . B u c k i n g h a m ' s v e n o m toward the former Lord Chancellor was notorious; a n d if h e w r o t e a political satire, m o s t p e o p l e w o u l d instantly h a v e a s s u m e d that C l a r e n d o n w a s t h e b u t t . 3 T h e wily F r e n c h a m b a s s a d o r k n e w better. A s early as 1 M a r c h , C o l b e r t d e C r o i s s y r e p o r t e d to L o u i s XIV: The divisions of this Court increase every day. . . . Coventry . . . has the honour of being of feelings opposed to the

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duke of Buckingham, w h o thought to make him the butt of ridicule by having a scene a d d e d to a c o m e d y , a scene in which he introduces a state counsellor w h o appears on the stage next to a table all full of drawers, one of which has for a sticker: affairs of Spain, the other: affairs of Holland, and so on for the others; and he has this counsellor, w h o is to be m a d e as like Lord Coventry as possible, say stupid things. (Colbert to d e Lionne, 1/11 M a r c h ) 4

Even as late as Wednesday 3 March—the play had been rehearsed and the premiere scheduled for Saturday 27 February—the affair must indeed have seemed mysterious to outsiders: the principals had kept their mouths shut as long as possible. On that Wednesday a warrant was issued "to James Beck, serjeant-at-arms, to apprehend Sir William Coventry, and convey him to the Tower [of London] for having sent a challenge to the Duke of Buckingham." On Thursday Sir John Robinson, Lieutenant of the Tower, reported that he had duly "received Coventry by the hands of Beck, serjeantat-arms, according to his Majesty's order." 5 By then the cat was out of the bag, and Pepys could piece together most of the story. [Thursday 4 March] I did meet Sir Jeremy Smith [at Whitehall], w h o did tell m e that Sir W . C o v e n t r y was just n o w sent to the Tower, about the business of his challenging the Duke of Bucki n g h a m . . . . This n e w s of Sir W. Coventry did strike m e to the heart, and with reason, for by this and m y Lord of O r m o n d ' s business, I d o doubt [i.e., fear] that the Duke of Buckingham will be so flushed, that he will not stop at any thing . . . a n d Sir W . Coventry being g o n e , the King will h a v e never a good counsellor, nor the Duke of York any sure friend to stick to him.

Pepys heard the details of the challenge from Lord Bellassis later in the day. In brief, Coventry sent Savile to "speak with" Buckingham, who stalled long enough to let his second, Sir Robert Holmes, tattle to the King, who promptly sent the Lord Chamberlain, Arlington, to put a halt to the affair. Pepys continued his account with a report of the Privy Council meeting at which the King dragged the story out in the open.

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[Bellassis] told me that the King did last night, at the Council, ask the Duke of Buckingham, upon his honour, whether he had received any challenge from W. Coventry? which he confessed that he had; and then the King asking W. Coventry, he told him that he did not owne what the Duke of Buckingham had said, though it was not fit for him to give him a direct contradiction. But, being by the King put upon declaring, upon his honour, the matter, he answered that he had understood that many hard questions had upon this business been moved to some lawyers, and that therefore he was unwilling to declare any thing that might, from his own mouth, render him obnoxious to his Majesty's displeasure, and, therefore, prayed to be excused: 6 which the King did think fit to interpret to be a confession, and so gave warrant that night for his commitment to the Tower. Possessed of this distressing information, Pepys hastened to the Tower, " t o give him comfort, and offer my service to him, which he kindly and cheerfully received, only owning his being troubled for the King his master's displeasure." Thereafter Pepys visited Coventry in the Tower nearly every day. On Saturday the 6th they had a long talk, and Pepys recorded Coventry's own account of the play. He told me the matter of the play that was intended for his abuse, wherein they foolishly and sillily bring in two tables like that which he hath made, with a round hole in the middle, in his closet [i.e., study], to turn himself in; and he is to be in one of them as master, and Sir J. Duncomb in the other, as his man or imitator: and thendiscourse in those tables, about the disposing of their books and papers, very foolish. But that, that he is offended with, is his being made so contemptible, as that any should dare to make a gentleman a subject for the mirth of the world: and that therefore he had told Tom Killigrew [principal owner and manager of the King's Company] that he should tell his actors, whoever they were, that did offer at any thing like representing him, that he would not complain to my Lord Chamberlain, which was too weak, nor get him beaten, as Sir Charles Sidly is said to do, but that he would cause his nose to be cut. Together with Colbert de Croissy's code-dispatches to Louis

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XIV, this permits us to reconstruct the train of events fairly exactly. Apparently Coventry heard of the play while it was being rehearsed and complained to the King, who then inspected a copy—from which the key scene had been carefully removed. So says Colbert (letter of 1/11 March). Denied the injunction against performance he had sought, Coventry then took matters into his own hands and halted the play, as Pepys reports, by informing Killigrew that he would have the impersonator's nose cut. This threat evidently reduced the actors' enthusiasm for the play to the vanishing point. Only a month earlier the King's Company had acted Newcastle's The Heiress. Pepys tells us that "Kinaston, that did act a part therein, in abuse to Sir Charles Sedley" was in reprisal "exceedingly beaten with sticks, by two or three that assaulted him, so as he is mightily bruised, and forced to keep his bed" (1 February). With Coventry threatening far worse, the actors had reason to be cautious. Why then did Coventry challenge Buckingham? The play was stopped, but the world was starting to gossip.7 As a gentleman and a member of seventeenthcentury cavalier society, Coventry was left with only one course of action—and so he dispatched his nephew, Henry Savile, to "speak" to Buckingham. This put the Duke in an awkward spot. He was an expert swordsman, which Coventry was not—and neither was fat Harry Savile. But a year earlier (21 January 1668) Buckingham had killed Lord Shrewsbury in a scandalous and bloody six-man duel. Lady Shrewsbury had been, and continued to be, Buckingham's mistress. Whether she watched the duel disguised as a page and holding Buckingham's horse is immaterial. This hardy legend rests on questionable evidence, but invented or not it typifies the unsavoury side of Buckingham's notoriety. He had obtained the King's pardon with difficulty: sober citizens were horrified and disgusted by the affair, and the pardon seemed disgraceful. Another duel could ruin him politically, especially as Buckingham's provocation was obvious and public sympathy was with Coventry. So Buckingham pru-

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dently stalled long enough to let his second, Holmes, leak the affair to the King. The generally reliable Lady Burghclere writes that Colbert, anxious to use Buckingham to forward French interests, "felt constrained on his monarch's behalf to beseech Buckingham 'not to hazard his valuable life in such an affair; an action, too, singularly unnecessary after the proofs of courage he had so lately given'" (pp. 207-8). We have not located this letter in the French archives, but the story seems entirely plausible. Buckingham had excited some contempt by failing to show up for a duel with Lord Ossory in 1666. Had he not killed Shrewsbury—thus giving "proofs of courage" in 1668 —Buckingham could not have avoided fighting Coventry without branding himself a coward. A letter which we have found (de Lionne to Colbert, 10/20 March) expresses approval of "the manner in which you have had the Duke of Buckingham talked to, on the affair he is having with Coventry," which does suggest that the French were actively advising Buckingham. John Starkey sums up the results of the challenge in a newsletter of March 6th. After Coventry failed to deny issuing what amounted to a challenge, "it was by the Statute of 3 Hen: 7th found to be felony for any to conspire the Death of a privy Counsellour," for which Coventry was imprisoned and "tumd out of the Counsell and suspended . . . of all his places of profitt and trust." 8 This treatment of Coventry was exceedingly harsh. As he indignantly told Pepys, there were "many examples of challenging of Privy-Councillors and others; but never any proceeded against with that severity which he is" (6 March). As Coventry had feared, the King's lawyers had dug up a technicality. This ill-usage is easily explained: Charles II seized an opportunity to turn the incident to his own ends. On 7 March he wrote to his sister, "I am not sorry that S r Will: Coventry has given me this good occasion, by sending my Ld of Buckingham a chalenge, to turne him out of the Councill. I do intend to turn him aliso out of the Tresury. The truth of it is, he has been a troublesome man in both places, and 1 am well rid of h i m . " 9 Coventry took his

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fall resignedly, telling Pepys he was "well contented" at "the King's putting him out of the Council . . . as with what else they can strip him of, he telling me . . . that he is weary and surfeited of business; but he joins with me in his fears that all will go to naught, as matters are now managed" (6 March). Coventry languished in the Tower until 21 March, visited more than a dozen times by the loyal and indignant Pepys, who gloatingly records that on 6 March "not less than sixty coaches" brought Coventry sympathetic visitors, horrified at the turn public events were taking. The confinement itself was hardly unendurable, and indeed young Savile—likewise confined to the Tower—seems to have devoted his captivity to riotous festivity. On the night of the 9th some of his fellow celebrants very nearly fought a duel right in the prison. On Tuesday night there was a quarrel between the Duke of Richmond and Mr. James Hamilton, after they had dined at the Tower with Sir [sic] Henry Savile. They had chosen their seconds, but the Lord General sent for the principals, and put them on their honours not to prosecute it. The Earl of Rochester was one of the party. . . . 10

The dour Coventry was presumably not living it up with the Earl of Rochester. Even when he was released, Coventry remained in deep disgrace. On the 31st, Pepys "walked out with him into St. James's Park, where, being afeard to be seen with him, he having not leave yet to kiss the King's hand, but notice taken, as I hear, of all that go to him, I did take the pretence of my attending the Tangier Committee, to take my leave." Coventry lived on in political obscurity, his career wrecked, until 1686. Buckingham, triumphant, went his merry way, little dreaming that King Charles was busy making a secret treaty with the French, and that his own downfall was not far away. It came in 1671, when the King finally decided to clip the wings of a courtier grown too openly and arrogantly insubordinate—a spectacular dénouement which is beyond our story here. 11

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Looking back on the Buckingham-Coventry imbroglio, we should remember to allow for the biases of our sources. Pepys was a stout Yorkist and a passionate defender of Coventry, a bourgeois upholder of the proprieties who deeply disapproved of Buckingham. His righteous indignation can make us forget that James, Duke of York was a stupid bigot who was removed from the throne essentially by unanimous consent in 1688. The Duke of York was no angel, and Buckingham did not possess horns and a tail. The Shrewsbury duel and other scandals should not obscure the fact that he was a genuine patriot who had English and protestant interests far more at heart than the slippery Charles II, busy negotiating the secret treaty of Dover (1670) with Louis XIV. And we should remember to Buckingham's eternal credit that he was a lifelong believer in religious toleration who mounted a brilliant but doomed campaign in 1668 to persuade Parliament to pass a Toleration Act. One's sympathies certainly ought to be with the honest and luckless Coventry, but one can hardly help enjoying the virtuosity with which Buckingham engineered his downfall. In the midst of all this hullabulloo the play was forgotten. Naturally it was not published: Coventry's friends would have dealt harshly with any printer who tried to bring it out. Only the chance preservation of a late copy—probably made to satisfy the curiosity of one of Coventry's female relations by marriage—allows us to see exactly what Buckingham wrote and to add a play to the known canon of Sir Robert Howard, an important and neglected playwright.

THE MANUSCRIPT AND ITS PUZZLES How does a literary "discovery" come about? Good luck is almost always the prime requisite. This particular discovery started with one of us noting an entry in a standard reference book, the Annals of English Drama.12 In the Alphabetical Index of English plays the reader's eye may light on the following conjunction:

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Country Gentleman, The, 1669. Country Gentleman, The, Supp. I.

The entry under 1669 reads: Howard, R.; Villiers, G. 1 3 The Country Gentleman. 27 Feb. (projected). Comedy. 'Forbidden' (intended for King's [Company]). Lost.

The entry in "Supp. I"—a list of plays of uncertain date and identity—reads: The Country Gentleman. Anon, comedy, c. 1700? MS.

And in an Appendix of extant play manuscripts one can ponder the following entry: The Country Gentleman.

Folger Shakespeare Lib. MS. V.b. 228.

No genius is required to wonder idly if there is any connection: no other English play with this title is known until the 1770s. But the Folger is one of the world's great research libraries, and the people there generally know what they own. Samuel Schoenbaum—who recorded the MS in the Annals—is one of the leading drama scholars of the twentieth century, and if he saw no reason to identify the Folger MS with the Howard-Buckingham play, then almost unquestionably there would be no grounds for making such an identification. The key word here is "almost." We felt no excitement about this longshot possibility, which appeared in the guise of a routine nuisance. We were then—and still are—gathering materials in a leisurely way for a Supplement volume to The London Stage 1660-1800 (11 volumes, 1960-68). A query about the Folger MS passed from Hume to Scouten in September 1972, the third item in a list of five playdate/identification/documentation problems.14 Simply as a matter of scholarly routine, one of us would have to look at the MS just to see what it was—but with the very great advantage of knowing exactly what to look for. If by

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any chance this MS were the Howard-Buckingham play, it should contain a scene with "two tables . . . with a round hole in the middle," just as Pepys describes it. 15 We discussed the matter desultorily at the MLA meeting in December, but not until March 1973 did Scouten find a day to get down to Washington with a list of accumulated queries about Folger holdings. To discover the key scene exactly as specified was the work of minutes, but though it produced an instant state of astonished excitement, it marked the beginning, not the end, of the labors of scholarly detection. Many questions had to be considered before we could claim with assurance that a "lost" play was now found. First, was the manuscript genuine? Literary forgeries are not unknown, and any reader of Pepys would know what to put in an "authenticating" scene, around which he could concoct a play suitable to the title. Second, what was the manuscript? Not the authors' holograph. Not a prompt copy for use in the theatre. Then who made the copy, when, and why? Third, where had it come from? Knowing the provenance of a manuscript is a tremendous aid in demonstrating its genuineness. Fourth, a small but nagging point, where had the title come from? Folger MS. V.b. 228 is anonymous, undated, and entirely lacking any title. Yet we had been led to it by the right title. The manuscript itself proved helpful, up to a point. Physically, Folger MS. V.b. 228 is composed of 25 sheets (size: 31.8 X 20 cms.) laid one on top of another and sewn as one gathering, covered in a marbled paper. Thus there are 50 leaves. The text occupies leaf 2 r through leaf 45 r . The first leaf, leaf 45 v , and the last five leaves are blank. The writing is in the hand of one scribe, though two corrections have been supplied in another, but contemporary hand. The handwriting, mainly italic with a few letters (mostly " e " s ) in the English secretary hand, is a mixture typical of the last quarter of the seventeenth century. The watermark on the paper is the familiar horn and baldric in an ornamented cartouche found by both Churchill and Heawood in numerous English documents from 1675 to 1695. In Labarre's Dictionary,

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Heawood reproduces a watermark closely resembling that of V.b. 228, and comments: "An example of a mark found more often in MSS. than in printed books of the 17th C. is that of the Horn in an ornamented cartouche (Fig. 194) England. 1683." 16 The paper is (at least) extremely similar to that being made by J. Villeray in France at this time.17 Nothing in the physical manuscript suggested forgery: hand and paper both seemed genuine, and indeed we have never found anything to cast doubt on their authenticity. And while due care needed to be exercised, the circumstances were not suspicious. A forger usually wants either to make the triumphant discovery himself or to sell something identifiably valuable for a good, stiff price. This manuscript was, in fact, sold unidentified for almost nothing.18 Where had the manuscript come from? Part of the answer to that was easy: the Folger's purchase order was on file, and the man who had initiated the purchase was right in the library in March 1973. On 28 July 1947, Dr. James G. McManaway saw the manuscript in the shop of the late Raphael King, a London rare book dealer. He initiated the purchase by cable, and the Folger's order was duly dispatched 1 August. Where King had acquired the MS he did not say. Plainly he did not know what it was or that it was valuable. Evidently he did know the title, since the purchase correspondence names "The Country Gentleman." 19 When the manuscript arrived at the Folger it was duly examined, and was dated 1670-1700 from handwriting and paper by Dr. Giles Dawson, Curator of Books and Manuscripts, a specialist in bibliography and paleography. The librarians' failure to identify the play is not especially surprising. They had nothing to go on, save perhaps the title. Yet they cannot have felt too sure even of that, for someone pencilled a tentative title on the first page: ["The Country Gentlemen"], anon.

This hesitating title comes from the last line of the play. Many seventeenth-century playwrights did have the habit of

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introducing a play's title into its text, usually at or near the end. 2 0 Had the librarians simply trusted King's assertion (which was in their records and passed from there into Schoenbaum's book), they might have looked in Montague Summers' The Playhouse of Pepys (1935), a treasure-trove of information with a good index. Summers would have given them both Pepys and John Starkey's newsletter to go on. But Summers has a deservedly dubious reputation among academic scholars, and few would think to use him. Summers' Bibliography of the Restoration Drama (also published in 1935) would likewise have set them on the right track. Without the help of the title and the knowledge of exactly what to look for, identifying the MS would be a pretty hopeless business. There are some sixty "lost" plays of which we have record from the 1660-1700 period alone; 21 a given manuscript could easily have left no record of title or content in the seventeenth century; a scribal copy might be a late reproduction of a much earlier play. In this case, at least, allusions to known taverns, popular wines, and champagne (introduced into England about 1664) put the date no earlier than the 1660s. With the aid of Pepys and some bibliographical investigation, we soon knew what we had and that it seemed genuine. Lack of provenance made other questions even more pressing. Who made this copy, when, and why? Here we had a piece of good luck. The Country Gentleman was bought from Raphael King in a lot of two manuscripts, and the other is almost effusively identified. Folger MS. V.b. 227 is an execrable amateur verse translation of Corneille's Rodogune (1644), done by Arthur Somerset (7-1743), fifth son of Henry Somerset, first Duke of Beaufort. This dismal effort, the sort of thing tutors made their teenage charges produce, was presented by young Somerset, duly inscribed, to his sister Anne, whom he terms "Lady Anne Coventry." This turns out to be quite helpful. Anne, the fourth daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, was born 22 July 1673 and died at nearly ninety, 14 February 1763. She would have been called Lady Anne Somerset until 4 May 1691, when she married Sir

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Thomas Coventry. His father was created first Earl of Coventry on 26 April 1697, a title to which he succeeded on his father's death, 15 July 1699. His wife should thereafter have been termed the Countess of Coventry. Consequently we may hypothesize that the Rodogune manuscript was presented to her between 1691 and 1699, though we must remember that her brother might not necessarily be as strict about the nomenclature as a genealogist would be.* 2 Exactly what connection the two manuscripts have there is no way to determine. They are on very similar (though not identical) paper, and are bound in similar marbled paper; Rodogune is an elegant fair copy, so the handwriting is entirely unrelated; their turning up together two hundred and fifty years later strongly suggests, but does not prove, a relationship. Our best guess is that Lady Anne Coventry, curious about a celebrated scandal in the past of a deceased uncle by marriage, either took a family copy or found an opportunity to have one made from an unknown source. The family connection and the similarity of the paper between the two manuscripts do give an obvious hint toward any search for provenance. (1) The Countess of Coventry was buried at Badminton, the ancestral and present seat of the Dukes of Beaufort. Plainly the old lady might have left her books and papers there, and indeed she did, bequeathing all her books and prints to Henry, Third Duke of Beaufort. (Her will is preserved in the Public Record Office, P.R.O. Bll/887/f. 220.) Through the kindness of the present Duke of Beaufort we have examined the Coventry holdings—without discovering any reference to these play manuscripts. They are not mentioned in either of the contemporary inventories which are preserved: (a) A 1698 catalogue pertaining to Lady Anne Deerhurst does list six plays, but neither of the two that interest us; (b) A long catalogue dated 1730 "of the Books belonging to the Rt Hon the Lady Anne, Countess of Coventry," is equally silent on the subject. In the 1920s a full professional catalogue was compiled; it has no reference to either play manuscript, but does include the Countess' per-

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sonai letters and papers, which remain at Badminton. 2 3 None of them has a watermark at all resembling that of the paper constituting Folger MSS. V.b. 227 and 228. (2) The papers of Sir William Coventry are preserved at Longleat, the ancestral and present seat of the Marquesses of Bath. The connection here is Sir William's sister Mary, who married Henry Frederick Thynne—their grandson became the first Marquess of Bath. The present Marquess graciously allowed us access to the family archives, but once again we drew a blank. The Coventry Letter-Book from the 1670s is full of paper with the horn and baldric in an ornamented cartouche watermark: the family did have such paper available. But nowhere in the records at Longleat did we find any hint that either play manuscript was once part of the collection, which was catalogued over a hundred years ago by Canon Jackson. Where Raphael King found the two manuscripts remains a puzzle. We have searched out those of his old associates still living and followed up every seeming lead—all without success. Many English country houses were of course put on sale at the end of World War II; their furnishings and libraries were often sold at auction and dispersed. Probably King got the two manuscripts for a song at one of the many nowfabled disaster auctions; shuddered at the quality of Rodogune; and passed them on cheap—curiosities of some value if only because a seventeenth century play manuscript is necessarily unique. In all probability there are no extant records to show where the manuscripts were between 1700 and 1947. The lack of any title or identification on The Country Gentleman MS is puzzling. No cover has been lost: the blank cover leaf would have provided ample space for full identification. The paper used does suggest the probability of an origin connected with the Coventry family and, considering the probable date of Rodogune, a date closer to 1700 than to 1669. At a venture, we would hypothesize that the copy was made during the 1690s to satisfy the curiosity of Lady Anne Coventry—or someone, somewhere, to whom she was close enough to give her brother's play MS—about a scandalous

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bit of family history. And perhaps the family remained sensitive enough about the incident that omitting the play title seemed prudent. This hypothesis would seem to cover such facts as we possess. We can only hope that someone will find some hard evidence to prove or disprove it. The great thing is that we have the play. Finding it sheds light on a fascinating, hitherto incomplete story; increases our knowledge of that astonishing chameleon, Buckingham; and adds a highly original play to the canon of Sir Robert Howard. From the scholarly point of view the identification of the manuscript points a double moral. First, you must never assume that your predecessors have checked the obvious. Second, every possible lead must be faithfully explored: you may sink two hundred depressingly dry holes, but then there just might be oil at the bottom of the two hundred and first. HOWARD'S PLAY AND ITS CONTEXT Sir Robert Howard (1626-98) is remembered today largely because he was John Dryden's brother-in-law. But in 1669 he was one of the most prominent political and literary figures in England, a wealthy and talented man who was very much on his way up in the government.24 By 1666 Howard had emerged as a leading figure in Parliament, a loyal supporter of the King who was nonetheless a staunch defender of the Commons' rights. By the autumn of 1667 he was important enough to draw a blast in Andrew Marvell's Last Instructions to a Painter. Howard was a brilliant financial specialist who was to become Secretary to the Treasury in 1671 and later held high (and lucrative) exchequer offices. For some thirty years he remained a major figure in the government. Howard's initial relations with Buckingham cannot have been cordial. The Howards and Buckingham engaged in a disgraceful brawl when the Duke led a faction to disrupt Henry Howard's play, The United Kingdoms (c. 1662). Sir Robert and his three playwriting brothers were evidently among

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Buckingham's principal targets in the lost 1665 version of The Rehearsal. But by 1667 Howard was delivering fire-breathing speeches against Lord Clarendon and dubbing Buckingham " a great man" in the process. 25 Earlier that year (28 June), while in hiding on account of the treason charge, Buckingham had entrusted Howard with a crucial letter to Charles II, and in the next few years they worked closely together as fellow "Undertakers." Despite this active political career, Howard found time during the 1660s to become a prominent and fairly prolific writer. Indeed in 1669 Edward Phillips (Milton's nephew) hailed him as one of the three most distinguished living dramatists—ranking him after the Earl of Orrery but before Dryden. 26 This assessment now seems foolish, and clearly it grossly overrates Orrery, but on the evidence then available Howard could stand comparison with Dryden far better than one would expect. Howard's first literary production was a volume of poems, translations, and an unperformed play (1660), of little merit or even historical interest. His second play, The Surprisal (performed in April 1662), is a competent if melodramatic tragicomedy which anticipates many of the features of the "Spanish romance" genre which Tuke's popular The Adventures of Five Hours formally inaugurated a year later. In his third play, The Committee (November 1662), Howard scored a smash hit which held the stage a hundred and fifty years and remained among the enduring favorites from the Carolean period. The play combines a lively if decorous double love plot with savage satire on Cromwell's sequestration committee. That committee was of course by then a thing of the past, but many of the exiled cavaliers who had suffered from its depredations never did get all of their estates back. The play vividly expresses the undying animosity between Cavalier and Roundhead. The cavalier heroes win their girls and retain their fortunes, but Howard wisely refrains from suggesting any resolution of the basic tensions and hostilities which underlie the play. The splendidly vigorous action, the lively intrigues, the memorably ugly characterizations of the

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puritans, add up to an extremely enjoyable play. But its most memorable feature is the cavaliers' faithful Irish servant Teague, a lovable bungler who does his best, usually with catastrophic results. The real warmth and loyalty with which Howard invests this seventeenth-century soldier Schweik made the character a favorite vehicle for actors from John Lacy in the Restoration to John Moody at the end of the eighteenth century. After this triumphant foray into Jacobean-style city comedy and low life, Howard turned, with surprising success, to rhymed heroic tragedy. The Indian Queen (January 1664) was in fact the first rhymed heroic play staged in London. (Orrery's The Generali was known in MS, and had been performed in Dublin in October 1662.) Howard has received little credit for this play, which is now usually printed as Dryden's work. But in fact Dryden claimed (in the preface to his The Indian Emperour, 1665) merely to have contributed a "part" to the earlier play, which was published in Howard's Four New Plays (1665), and was first printed as Dryden's in 1717, long after both men were dead. Howard spoke diffidently of the play: he did not care for rhymed drama and tried the experiment "not to appear singular," his preface says. Charles II had encouraged Orrery, and the idea of the form was in the air. Howard's next venture, The Vestal-Virgin, is a serious, vigorous, bloodbath—a tragedy without enough internal psychology to make it moving. Interestingly, Howard demonstrated his willingness to experiment by providing an alternative, tragicomic ending in which only the villain Mutius is killed, though the lustful Sulpitius is dealt an admonitory wound. Within the previous year or so, Edmund Waller had written a happy ending for Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy, and young James Howard had made "Romeo and Juliet . . . into a Tragi-comedy . . . he preserving Romeo and Juliet alive; so that when the Tragedy was Reviv'd again 'twas Play'd Alternately, Tragical one Day, and Tragicomical another." 27 Howard's last performed play, The Great Favourite, or The

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Duke of Lerma (February 1668) is shrouded in a mystery of its own. A powerful and beautifully constructed drama, it has received almost no critical attention in recent years, presumably because of Harbage's persuasive argument that it is merely a reworking of a lost play by John Ford. 28 Whoever is responsible for the play's astonishing intensity and "untragic seriousness," several critics agree in finding it one of the very best serious plays from the Restoration period. 29 The plot follows the power schemes of the ambitious and unscrupulous Duke. Their failure is followed by the suicide and execution of his henchmen, and we await a climactic death sentence when Lerma, abandoned even by his brother, is summoned to hear his doom. In one of the most thrilling scenes in Restoration drama, as Summers observes, he presents himself, "not as a suppliant or guilty, but in all the pomp of pontifical state, clad in his sweeping scarlet robes, My Lord Cardinal, a sovran prince"—and hence now beyond the reach of secular power. This dazzling reversal comes as an utter surprise to the audience, which nonetheless must realize as it watches that a series of hints have been dropped indicating that the canny Duke has been holding one last ace up his sleeve. Thus in 1669 Howard did indeed promise to be a playwright of considerable stature. Dry den had at that time written five plays of his own, helped Howard with The Indian Queen, and assisted the Duke of Newcastle by polishing up an adaptation from French—the popular Sir Martin Mar-all. Dryden himself would probably have made serious claims only for The Indian Emperour and Secret-Love, and stacking these plays up against the perennially popular Committee and The Duke of Lerma one might hesitate to say, without the benefit of hindsight, that Dryden would prove vastly the greater playwright. Curiously, Howard is remembered most often today for his appearance as the cranky and classics-oriented Crites in Dryden's An Essay of Dramatick Poesie (written 1665-66; published 1668), a work snidely commented upon in The Country Gentleman (III. 30-45). Howard's sensible if unbrilliant pre-

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face to Four New Plays had criticized Orrery's inflation, stasis, and rhyme. Dryden, an enthusiast for rhyme and nature "wrought up to an higher pitch . . . exalted above the level of common converse," 30 put Howard down rather acerbically in his rough treatment of Crites. In his preface to The Duke of Lerma Howard responded by criticizing some of Dryden's points, maintaining in about four pages that rhyme is less natural than blank verse. With sturdy common sense he also maintained that the "unities" of place and time are invalid. Dryden's furious, twenty-page reply ("A Defence of An Essay of Dramatique Poesie") seems out of all proportion to what Howard had said. Dryden hides behind classical authorities and indulges in personal sneers, implying that Howard was guilty of plagiarism in The Duke of Lerma and ridiculing him for including an errata sheet! That Dryden is both the better rhetorician and the more sophisticated theoretician is plain enough. Critics have generally been scornful of Howard's showing in this controversy, but despite Dryden's angry rhetoric Howard seems more nearly correct on the central issue—the appropriateness of rhyme in serious drama. Within a decade, Dryden too had abandoned rhyme for blank verse. When we consider the dominance of the "rules" through most of the eighteenth century, and the veneration bestowed on Samuel Johnson for speaking up in favor of common sense in his Preface to Shakespeare (1765), it seems strange that Howard's tough-minded originality and rationality has not found some scholarly admirers.31 To suppose that in the context of 1669 Sir Robert Howard was an obscure amateur, a hopeful dilettante, would be entirely wrong. He had taken some shrewd blows from Dryden; his poem The Duel of the Stags (1667) had excited ridicule from the "Court Wits"; 32 and he had recently been pilloried in a play by Shadwell (discussed below). But Howard was a proven writer with three substantial successes behind him. He had shown his adeptness at romantic intrigue and lowlife satire in The Committee, at heroic inflation in The Indian Queen, and at taut construction and plausible psychology in a serious drama in The Duke of Lerma. Howard was indeed re-

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markably versatile: never once in his last six plays did he repeat himself in type or design. So when in February 1669 the King's Company put a new play by Sir Robert Howard into rehearsal, it was in fact preparing to produce a highly original new comedy by one of the most distinguished and prolific living playwrights. Howard's versatility allowed him to play a part in the development of several of the modes popular early in the Carolean period. 33 As we have seen, (1) he anticipated the Spanish romance mode in The Surprisal; (2) produced a lastingly popular city intrigue comedy in The Committee; and (3) participated—a bit reluctantly—in the founding of the rhymed heroic play. Genuine tragedy was a rarity in the 1660s: The Vestal-Virgin in bloody-ending form is one of the few examples. One popular mode Howard had eschewed was farce: the custard-pie antics of plays like John Lacy's The Old Troop (c. 1664) or The Dumb Lady (c. 1669) did not appeal to him. Another was the "hip-hop play" (as Congreve was to dub it), the tragicomedy with a radically split plot developed by James Howard in Ail Mistaken (1665) and Dryden in Secret-Love (1667). But Sir Robert Howard felt that "when Scenes of so different Natures immediately succeed one another, 'tis probable the Audience may not so suddenly recollect themselves as to start into an enjoyment of the Mirth or into a concern for the Sadness" (Preface to Four New Plays). What new worlds were left for Howard to conquer? Even the heroic-minded Orrery descended (much to Pepys' astonishment) to farcical Spanish romance in Guzman (April 1669). Comedy as a whole did seem to be descending into farce foolery in the later 1660s. Dryden himself felt compelled to try his hand at the lightened form of Spanish romance in An Evening's Love (1668), grumbling to his publisher Herringman that it was "but a fifth rate play," as Pepys informs us. Farcical debasements of Molière were becoming increasingly popular: Lacy's Dumb Lady and the Newcastle-Dryden Sir Martin Mar-all (1667) were soon to be followed by Caryll's

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Sir Salomon and Tartuffes by Shadwell and Medbourne (1669 and 1670). We now know that Etherege's She wou'd if she cou'd (May 1668) and particularly Thomas Betterton's The Amorous Widow (c. 1669)—the latter adapted from two French plays—foreshadow the great 1670s boom in sex comedy. But in 1669 that boom could not have been predicted. Few people now realize that during the 1660s, the period when the theatre was most dominated by the court circle, the drama was in fact remarkably pure. The bawdy plays we think of as epitomizing "Restoration comedy" are the product of the mid-1670s and later—Wycherley's The Country-Wife and The Plain-Dealer and Etherege's The Man of Mode in 1675 and 1676, Durfey's A Tond Husband (1677), Dryden's notorious though seldom read Mr. Limberham (1678), Ravenscroft's The London Cuckolds (1681). Macaulay's vivid picture of a pack of degenerate courtiers drooling over dramatic representations of their own debaucheries notwithstanding, the boom in sex and cuckoldry follows an influx of "cit" and bourgeois patrons into the theatre audience. The greatest hit of the 1660s may well have been Tuke's ultrapure, ultrachaste Adventures of Five Hours (1663). When the King's Company revived Fletcher and Massinger's bawdy The Custom of the Country in January 1667, Richard Legh reported that the play was " s o damn'd baudy that the Ladyes flung their peares and fruités at the Actors," and Pepys (no puritan) found the show thoroughly unattractive. 34 What mode would Howard choose to work in? One might expect him to try his hand at high-flown pseudo-heroic comedy, of the sort to be pioneered by Edward Howard in The Womens Conquest (1670) and Dryden—in double-plot guise—in Marriage A-la-Mode (1671). Contrariwise, a return to the "low" London comedy of The Committee would be understandable. In fact, Howard chose to do something altogether more difficult, and we will find him producing a play generically unique for its time. The one trend in which The Country Gentleman definitely does have a place is especially important—a flurry of plays

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"personating" recognizable individuals. Ironically, Sir Robert Howard himself had been the principal target of the first of the group, Shadwell's The Sullen Lovers (May 1668). He appears in that play as Sir Positive At-all, an insufferably arrogant bore who lays down the law to everyone on every imaginable occasion. At the end of the play Sir Positive is married off to someone else's pregnant whore but is made to conclude (when he discovers the truth of the situation) that he has done well: "He's a wise man that marry's a harlot, he's on the surest side, who but an Ass would marry at uncertainty?" Pepys reports the howling success of Shadwell's caricature. Lord! to see how this play of Sir Positive At-all in abuse of Sir Robert Howard, do take, all the Duke's [the Duke of York's] and every body's talk being of that, and telling more stories of him, of the like nature, that it is now the town and country talk, and, they say, is most exactly true. The Duke of York himself said that of his playing at trap-ball [Act III of Shadwell's play] is true, and told several other stories of him. (8 May 1668)

Edward Howard was also unlucky enough to make an appearance in the play—as the poet Ninny—and we may truly say that Shadwell did unto the Howards as Dryden was to do unto him in Mac Flecknoe a few years later. The most famous personal satire from these years is The Rehearsal, written by Buckingham with the assistance of friends and retainers. Originally aimed at Davenant, the Howards, and others, it was revamped to make Dryden and Arlington the principal butts before performance in December 1671. If the old anecdote about Buckingham's instructing John Lacy in the mimicking of Dryden can be trusted, we may suppose that Buckingham had a flair for caricature. And if so, we can well understand his contribution to The Country Gentleman. In the case of Bayes, in The Rehearsal, the caricature is actually part of the play, not just an excrescent addition. Two known incidents shortly before the planned premiere of The Country Gentleman suggest that personal satire of the excrescent sort was getting rather rough. Kynaston's dressing up to

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mimic the foppery of Sir Charles Sedley in a performance of Newcastle's The Heiress has already been mentioned—the upshot being a severe beating administered by hired thugs. Probably there was no point to Kynaston's ill-fated prank, beyond getting the goat of a pretentious dandy. The second case was an outcropping of court intrigue. Pepys had heard the story (coincidentally) from Sir William Coventry. He told me of the great factions at Court at this day, even to the sober engaging of great persons, and differences, and making the King cheap and ridiculous. It is about my Lady Harvy's being offended at Doll Common's [i.e., Katherine Corey's] acting of Sempronia [in a King's Company performance of Ben Jonson's Catiline] to imitate her; for which she got my Lord Chamberlain, her kinsman, to imprison Doll: when my Lady Castlemayne [the King's mistress] made the King to release her, and to order her to act it again, worse than ever, the other day, where the King himself was: and since it was acted again, and my Lady Harvy provided people to hiss her and fling oranges at her. (15 January 1669)

Colbert de Croissy gives us the same story, with even more details. Vicious personal caricatures were starting to flood the stage early in 1669, and The Country Gentleman belongs to the movement. Kynaston's beating and the BuckinghamCoventry scandal took the steam out of the fad, and later instances of personal abuse (and even praise) are scattered. Shadwell's second play, The Humorists (1670), was forced to undergo drastic revisions before it was allowed on stage: Shadwell's loud protestations of innocence and disclaimers of personation suggest that he failed to get away with it a second time. 35 Shadwell inserts a complimentary portrait of Buckingham in his Timon of Athens (1678), while Dryden may have been after individuals in his roaring, dirty Limberham the same year. One especially frustrating case is an anonymous play called Sir Popular Wisdom; or. The Politician (lost), which was performed 17 November 1677 by the Duke's Company, according to the Lord Chamberlain's records. All we

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know of the play is a comment in a letter by Andrew Marvell: "To-day is acted the first time Sir Popular Wisdom or the Politician, where my Lord Shaftesbury and all his gang are sufficiently personated. I conceive the King will be there." 3 6 Shaftesbury was of course savaged by the Tory writers during the Popish Plot and Exclusion Crisis (1678-83), his appearance as Senator Antonio (the foot-fetishist in Otway's Venice Presero'd) being especially memorable. We cannot tell whether the attack on Coventry was planned before Howard designed his play, but we would guess that it was not. Sir Cautious Trouble-all and Sir Gravity Empty, the characters representing Coventry and Duncomb, are pompous, pretentious "men of business" (as they proudly dub themselves) who fit perfectly well into the design of the play on their own merits. John Nicholas' letter clearly suggests that the satire was a happy afterthought: "y e Duke of Bucks hath incerted a part to personate S r W m Coventry sitting in the midst of a Table." Buckingham might, of course, have been responsible for the two characters throughout the play, especially as he had a taste for satire through broad farce which the more reserved Howard does not elsewhere display. The table scene in Act III fits the characters perfectly and adds a touch of festivity and a needed climax to an otherwise rather sedate satire on pompous asses. But the scene is not necessary to the plot and could well have been "incerted" by another hand than Howard's. A piece of evidence which supports this hypothesis is Sir Gravity's favorite expression: " A y e , " reiterated many times throughout the play, becomes in this scene "y Gad"—a phrase much favored by Bayes in Buckingham's Rehearsal. Our guess then is that Howard designed and wrote the play, and that at some point in the composition his friend Buckingham recognized the suitability of the two solemn knights as a vehicle for an attack on Coventry and his follower Duncomb. We are not aware of any major sources for The Country Gentleman. Howard built the play around sharply etched pairs of characters, as was his custom. The title character, Sir

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Richard Plainbred, stands alone above the rest, a normative standard of judgment who is really only an amused observer of the action. As a wise and kindly father, he is almost unique in comedies of the Carolean period, which tend to treat youth as good and older people as irrelevant and usually unpleasant anachronisms.37 Not until Shadwell's The Lancashire Witches (1681) and especially his The Squire of Alsatia (1688) does the "good" father-figure become at all common. The action of The Country Gentleman revolves around Sir Richard's daughters, Isabella and Philadelphia, wealthy heiresses sought by three sets of suitors. These are (1) Vapor and Slander, a pair of scheming and cowardly fops; (2) Sir Cautious Trouble-all and Sir Gravity Empty, fools who consider themselves grave "men of business"—i.e., government affairs; and (3) Worthy and Lovetruth, two country gentlemen of good fortune, wit, and sense. Obviously the girls wind up with Messrs. Right. But complications are introduced by the presence of two schemers. Mistress Finical Fart is a pretentious landlady (renting temporary London lodgings to the Plainbreds) who affects French words and fashions, and naturally she is greatly taken with the foppish beaux, whose cause she tries to assist. Against her is pitted Roger Trim, a tricky barber of the Figaro breed, an old servant of the Plainbreds who succeeds in marrying his daughters Kate and Lucy to the "men of business," who think that they are getting Sir Richard's daughters. So we have six pairs of characters: three sets of suitors, two sets of girls, and one set of schemers—plus Sir Richard, and two young servants of his, who make an appearance in Act V in female garb to "marry" the fops, who are also under the impression that they are getting the heiresses. The action of the comedy is really exceedingly slight, though its short, rapid-fire speeches give an impression of more motion than the plot actually contains. One would have to call it an "intrigue comedy," but unlike most such works it does not try to maintain even a pro-forma suspense and concern for the outcome. There is no "blocking figure," which is extremely unusual. Even in as light a play as Etherege's The

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Man of Mode (1676), Mrs. Woodvil is supposed to object strenuously to Harriet marrying Dorimant, and Old Bellair is courting the girl his son wants to marry. Here Sir Richard offers no opposition whatever, and we never imagine that he will. Instead, we are entertained (a) with a modified and severely decorous form of the "gay couple" love game, and (b) with intrigues and counterschemes carried on mostly for fun. The beaux, the men of business, and the two tricksters are fiercely serious about their plottings, but we look on with amused indifference, knowing that matters are entirely under control. Indeed Isabella and Philadelphia deliberately toy with the beaux, leading them on as they plan to humiliate them. And their father delights in, crows over, their trick. In a more normal "Restoration comedy" he would have been threatening to immure them in the nearest nunnery if they did not instantly marry the foolish knights, setting a gimleteyed old maid to spy on them, and so forth. The change is quite refreshing. The introduction of the love game between the romantic couples is definitely an experiment for Howard. 38 The Committee preaches plain honesty and straightforwardness. As Arbella tells the bashful Colonel Blunt in that play, "I'le save you the labour of Courtship, which Shou'd be too tedious to all plain and honest natures: It is enough I know you love me." But as lovers of Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing well know, a witty love-duel can have great attractions. In such plays as James Howard's All Mistaken (1665) and Dryden's Secret-Love (1667), both male and female rail against marriage and its limitations, vowing to remain free—the male insisting on his libertinism. But usually love conquers wanderlust, and witty antagonism is abandoned for the deeper satisfactions of living happily ever after. Because Howard seems to believe firmly in romantic marriage, his love game is quite strictly a game, played with affection and amusement by the participants, not an expression of genuine ambivalence about marriage such as one finds in the "proviso scene" of Congreve's The Way of the

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World (1700), where Millamant wonders if she must "dwindle to a wife." Howard's bantering proviso scene (II. 476-529) leaves no doubt of the couples' attraction and makes plain the reasonable views of Worthy and Lovetruth, who promise thrift and fidelity for themselves, freedom and power within the marriage for the women. Howard mixes the joking and the serious. LOVETRUTH. You shall always be obay'd. WORTHY. And your Commission shall not be taken from you after mariage, but always command in chief. LOVETRUTH. Go abroad when you please. WORTHY. And we ask leave to ride with you in the Coach.

Even in Act V the Ladies continue to decry marriage, comparing it to jail (270) and amusing themselves by teasing Worthy and Lovetruth with doubts and hesitations which are clearly a humour, and are so taken by their wooers. Obviously Howard is no proposer of the libertine ethic: everything in this play is strictly decorous. But neither is he indulging in the old précieuse conventions, which had carried over from Caroline drama into the Restoration heroic play. These ladies are no drooping flowers of chaste insipidity. Rather, they are saucy, schemers who deliberately cozen Vapor and Slander, affecting love to lure them into embarrassing "marriages" modelled on Ben Jonson's The Silent Woman (1609). (Edward Howard was to employ the same trick in the denouement of The Six days Adventure in 1671.) Smoldering over the fops' lies and pretensions, the ladies determine on revenge—"lets marry 'em to stinking feet" says Philadelphia (V. 245)—not the sort of crack to be looked for from the heroines of the kind of play which had pleased Queen Henrietta Maria in the previous reign. No "killing eyes" and sighing, platonic lovers here—though Howard is aware of these conventions and impishly mocks them, as at the end of Act III: WORTHY. And shall we part thus? LOVETRUTH. But one kind word.

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WORTHY. Or a speaking look. ISABELLA. Nay, if you are so reasonable, have at you, come Sister,

lets give 'em looks apeece. (They look at 'em.) WORTHY. Umh, so it goes through and through; Lovetruth prithee

look behind me, and see where the look comes out. LOVETRUTH. N o m a n , tis but got to thy heart yet.

W e like these young people, but they lack the fullness and warmth which would be required to make them very real. In this respect their exemplary virtue works against them. The two schemers are the most vivid characters in the play. Mistress Finical Fart would offer a skilled character actress a splendid vehicle—an aging affecter of gentility w h o (for once) has plenty of spunk and combativeness. Her reiterated family pride, use of French words, love of French food and fashion, and especially her swooning rapture over the gentlemanliness of the egregious fops are all thoroughly silly. But she is no fool, and in her duel of wits and verbal sparring with Trim she very nearly holds her own. Howard's treatment of her makes an interesting contrast to his brutal attack on Mrs Day, wife of the chairman of the sequestration board in The Committee. Howard obviously hated certain kinds of pushiness, though in both cases he invests a social climber with impressive vitality and force of character. In The Committee his portrait of Mrs Day verges on hysteria: here, though the picture of Mistress Finical is decidedly hostile, it is tinged with amusement. Mrs Finical is a figure almost without parallel in seventeenth-century comedy: perhaps Shakespeare's Mistress Quickly, more kindly treated, makes a useful comparison, though she is by no means a source or model for Howard. Trim is more complicated. Almost any servant would b e a letdown after Teague. Trim is a much less attractive character; nonetheless he offers an actor an even more interesting study. A former servant of Sir Richard's, and now a barber, Trim never works against the interests of the Plainbreds, though he is always out for himself. Selfish and ambitious, Trim is deferential and obsequious to his superiors (especially when tricking the men of business) but is brutally

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overbearing and arrogant in his treatment of Mrs Finical, on whom he can use a decidedly rough tongue. Trim is determined to rise in the world and is perfectly prepared to use his daughters for his own advantage. The men of business can get him made a clerk (I. 256), and he ostentatiously agrees to help them to the heiresses with that in view. He knows Vapor and Slander will do nothing for him and so determines to "keep my young Ladies from such Caterpillars" (II. 51-52). Trim could, he knows, "fit these hot lovers—but I am a rogue if I would throw any thing upon 'em but castwhores" (II. 136-38). But when Sir Cautious and Sir Gravity take Trim's daughters for Sir Richard's, he sees his chance. His luckless daughters protest, but he is adamant. KATE. . . . my father will help us to the worst on't. LUCY. For my part, I had rather have an honest fellow, though he cry'd smal coal, and I fain to wash him evry night, before he came to bed. KATE. And good reason, for nothing can wash away their fouines. Enter

TRIM

hastily.

TRIM. How now my Girles? what! do the fish bite? LUCY. Yes most eagerly, but by my troth Sir I think they are hardly worth the pulling up. TRIM. Pish, hamper 'em I say, and then hold hook and line, and Trim is made for ever. LUCY. Troth Sir we had rather have plain honest men of our own size, honest Tradesmen, or Farmers that could but stuff us up with bacon and pudding. TRIM. NO more I say, be obedient, we may be all advanc't, you both made Ladies. (II. 315-31)

Trim hopes "to leave waiting upon lowsy Dice-covered] customers all Saturday night" (337-38) and set up as a gentleman. As in The Committee, Howard shows an acute sense of class distinctions and has a cold eye for groundless ambition. The continuing laments of Trim's daughters serve to give a realness and unpleasantness to Trim's plot, adding a consid-

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erable element of complexity and human feeling to the play. The girls' honest preference for decent men of their own class is essentially without parallel in early Restoration drama. Lucy and Kate are not fully enough developed to become objects of distressingly serious pity, but as we see them badgered into accepting the fate their father designs (e.g., IV. 104-79) we cannot help feeling that Howard is giving us a real and sobering social satire. Trim's ugly gloating in Acts IV and V leaves little room for liking him. Nonetheless, Trim is clearly a distinguished addition to a long line of clever servants who manipulate the plot. The servus of Roman comedy had long since been crossed with the Vice figure of early English comedy (e.g., Diccon in Gammer Gurton's Needle, 1553). A figure like Brainworm in Jonson's Every Man in His Humour (1598) is a rough analogue for Howard's presentation of Trim. But Trim is not just a Vice, or a "clever servant": he is much too real, unpleasant, and nastily self-serving to be pigeonholed that way. The barber as an embodiment of this master-of-intrigue figure has likewise a long history. Howard probably knew a host of barbers, variably tricky or comical, in such plays as Jonson's The Silent Woman and The Staple of News, Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas, Marston's Dutch Courtesan, and especially Haircut—who pretends to be a courtier—in Shirley's The Lady of Pleasure. The scene (II, i.) in which Haircut and Scentlove attempt to discredit each other to the ladies is reminiscent of Act V of The Country Gentleman, where Vapor and Slander indulge in the same stunt. Of course such parallels could be piled up almost endlessly, since seventeenthcentury comedies tend to be quite formulaic in character and incident. But Trim's complexity makes one look ahead to the culmination of the barber-intriguer in the familiar Figaro of Beaumarchais, Mozart, and Rossini. When we turn to consider Sir Cautious and Sir Gravity we must remember that, since they are identified with Sir William Coventry and Sir John Duncomb, what happens to these gentlemen has satiric import. What does happen is that they greedily "elope" with "heiresses" who turn out to be the

Introduction

[33

daughters of a barber—for whom they then have to find political advancement in order to save themselves social embarrassment. This ending cannot have been much more agreeable to Coventry than Howard found in the one Shadwell provided for Sir Positive At-all. Howard's satire on the fops, Vapor and Slander, is much more routine. They are vain, boastful, cowardly dandies who easily enchant Mrs Finical but impress no one else. They run away from a duel, boast to the girls that Worthy and Lovetruth fled from them, and then are effectively and ludicrously punished as Worthy and Lovetruth compel them to perform a silly "dance" before the ladies (IV. 481). In Act V the girls further punish them by using Mrs Finical as a go-between and persuading the gullible beaux that they are the real objects of the girls' affections. The most interesting part of the satire on the beaux falls equally on Mrs Finical—a systematic attack on the affectation of French dress, words, food, and drink. The English in the 1660s tended to be both envious and resentful of French culture. The combination of patriotic arrogance and illconcealed defensiveness discernible in Dryden's Essay of Dramatick Poesie is quite common. Not surprisingly, French customs made a good target for satire. Frenchlove and Vaine in James Howard's The English Mounsieur (1663) are probably the first major example of such an attack in Restoration drama. The pox-infected French valet Dufoy in Etherege's The Comical Revenge (1664) and the cook Raggou in Lacy's The Old Troop use clowns with heavy accents to smear the French directly.39 The most famous of all Frenchified fops—soon to be a popular type—is of course Sir Fopling Flutter in Etherege's The Man of Mode. Early in The Country Gentleman Howard establishes his English/French dichotomy, which he ties into a town/country contrast. Here he reverses one of the great clichés of Restoration comedy—the attractiveness of town and the despicableness of country. (The great proof of Dorimant's love for Harriet in The Man of Mode is that he is willing to follow her to the country—briefly.) Yet on the first page of the play we

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are told that "Sir Richard Plainbred is an honest Country Gentleman; he loves few words, and those of the plainest sort." He " h a t e s " the town, "the place of such refin'd and transcendental conversation," to the astonishment of Mrs Finical. His preferences are made explicit later in Act I. MRS FINICAL. Will it please your worship to have any dinner? SIR RICHARD. By al means Landlady; we country people have good stomaks; yet we came but from Branford this morning— what may we have? MRS FINICAL. You may have what you please from Jerro's, Shatlings, or Lafrondes. SIR RICHARD. What are these? MRS FINICAL. Persons that dresse according to the mode, and will dispatch your soop, cotelets, ragous, fricaces, amlets, deserts— a n d — SIR RICHARD. Why Mistress d'you think we can live upon names; here's not one word of beef or mutton. MRS FINICAL. Beef and M u t t o n — O Lord! SIR RICHARD. O Lady. MRS FINICAL. I swear I scarce understand that language; there's no person of quality now, but scorns to have his Hall stink of beef. SIR RICHARD. Why then a pox of your persons of ill qualities— no marvell we cannot sell our beef— it seems they eat no English meat here, but send into France for victuals and Cooks, as well as clothes and taylors— pox on your raggi, your supos, and your Catlotti— 'Stink of B e e f — (I. 404-26)

Sir Richard throws another fit over Mrs Finical's offer of "Bourdeaux, Burgundie, Bourgoigne, vin de Champaigne, Sillery, Hermitage, O Brian, Piedmont, Port a Port, Peralta, Escevas, vin d'Ay. . . . " Sir Richard is an admirer of country sports, a fervent upholder of good old-fashioned English country virtues from the days of Good Queen Bess. He loathes the crowded, polluted, dishonest city (e.g., V. 392-408). Plain English cooking and ale are an absolute fetish with him. All this sounds as though he ought to be the subject of raillery (like Old Bellair in The Man of Mode, another devotee of Queen Elizabeth), or even outright satire—but

Introduction

[35

not so. Howard reverses the town/country cliché with vigor. This makes the notion that Sir Richard was a hit at Clarendon patently ridiculous. Sir Richard is not satirized; further, the high-living Lord Chancellor had spent the 1650s in France, returned there after his fall, and was living in Montpellier when The Country Gentleman was scheduled to appear. Only a pro-French figure, in this context, would serve for Clarendon. Sir Richard Plainbred's role is really that of satiric antithesis. Lenient, good-humored, and sensible, he thoroughly relishes his daughters' scampy tricks on the fops and looks with warm approval on Worthy and Lovetruth. Anti-French satire was always welcome on the Restoration stage, but to find Sir Richard an exemplary father-figure twenty years before the vogue for such, and especially to have him reject most of the things dear to the London theatre audience, is a bit startling. The attractive older man, like the avoidance of titillating sex, probably just reflects Howard's own preferences. But the loud trumpetings of the country virtues of the West of England probably have an ulterior motive—an appeal to the "Country party" in Parliament. Buckingham and his fellow "Undertakers" badly needed the support of that party in the Commons. Sir Richard Plainbred seems designed as a compliment to this group, standing as an exemplar of the best of the breed. Ideologically, to be sure, almost everything he stands for (except Protestantism) was anathema to Buckingham's faction, but presumably the flattery was meant to be good politics. 40 This brings us to the knights, Sir Cautious Trouble-all and Sir Gravity Empty. Ponderous, humorless, pretentious, conceited, and blind, they are excellent "humours" characters whose sublime assurance of their wisdom and constant solemn colloguing are made highly amusing throughout the play. Their first appearance is typical. Trim has just told them about Sir Richard's wealthy daughters. CAUTIOUS. Sir Gravity, this may be worthy of our consultation, the subject matter of our debate must be rich heires. EMPTY. Yes, that's clear, it must be of rich heirs. CAUTIOUS. But our designs must—

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EMPTY. Aye sir our designs m u s t — CAUTIOUS. What, Sir Gravity? EMPTY. Why Sir Cautious as you were a saying. CAUTIOUS. Your pardon Sir Gravity I suppos'd you were offering somwhat, but since you command me, Tie lay it downe for a rule: thers no going through a designe without Caballing. EMPTY. No Sir, nothing to be don without Caballing. (I. 2 1 3 - 2 5 )

Over and over the two engage in this sort of blundering, portentous crosstalk, with Sir Gravity serving as a vacuous echo. The satiric identification with Coventry and Duncomb is not made until the opening of Act III, though presumably Buckingham meant to spread rumors beforehand. Coventry and Duncomb were nearly inseparable "men of business," 4 1 and including both of them reinforces Sir Cautious' stupidity. In Sir William Coventry's unique business desk Buckingham found a marvellously effective prop. Coventry probably did not have many conspicuous identifying characteristics, but his desk was well known, for he was proud of it and liked to show it off to visitors. On 4 July 1668 Pepys reports: Up, and to see Sir W. Coventry, and give him account of my doings yesterday. . . . He shewed me his closet, with his round table, for him to sit in the middle, very convenient; and I borrowed several books of him. . . .

People knew about the desk, Coventry was vain of it, and it was ripe for burlesque. Buckingham hit on the happy expedient of doubling it. Sir Cautious announces proudly that he has invented a table for "business"—meaning government business—and he explains it to the admiring Sir Gravity Empty. He starts with an "oyster table." To your hole in the midle, which you know is antient, I have added a modern passage into't. . . . This same passage I open and shut at pleasure, now Sir as soon as I am in, I fix my self upon a stool made for the nonce, which turns upon a swivell, and place my papers

Introduction

[37

about m e — See here, I have my Spanish papers, here my Dutch papers, here my Italian papers, here my French papers, and so round. Now Sir in a trice dispatch to what part of the world you please, I am ready for you.

Sir Gravity interjects: "Admirable good y Gad, and this table may also serve for domestique affaires." But Sir Cautious has a refinement: "No, there shall be two, one for domestique, the other for forreigne." The two of them then set up for the speedy disposal of all foreign and domestic affairs, turning on their swivel stools to the appropriate pile of documents. Sir Gravity bets an embroidered pair of gloves that he will be as fast as Sir Cautious, and the two of them engage in a match, whirling madly. CAUTIOUS. With all my heart, wee'l name only Towns, and as fast as we can. EMPTY. A match, the faster the better, I'le begin— Venice. CAUTIOUS. P e n d e n n i s .

EMPTY. Roan. CAUTIOUS. M a r y b o n e .

EMPTY. The Brill. CAUTIOUS. Harrow oth'Hill. . . .

Screeching town names simultaneously and spinning ever faster, they are interrupted by the sudden entry of Sir Richard Plainbred. They jump up; Sir Gravity gets stuck in the outlet of his table and scatters his "towns" all over the floor. One can see why the proud and humorless Coventry was not amused. To be made out a farcical dolt, to have his pet invention mocked, and to be married off as a gull to a barber's daughter was more than dignity could bear. This exuberant scene would have been brutally effective on stage, especially considering that Coventry would be well-known to many members of the audience. The incongruity ought to have been startling and hilarious to all but the victim's most die-hard supporters. Imagine an actor made up as Henry Kis-

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singer put on stage to perform Mark Twain's Royal Nonesuch. Of course the play was stopped and the scene left unperformed. Today we feel no passion about it, but one can readily conceive Pepys' outrage had he seen it staged. The play would probably have had a good run, with or without the satiric scene. The pace is brisk, the tone light, the persiflage amusing. The characters are well enough worked out to be credible in the framework of light comedy. Mrs Finical and Trim would offer their actors fine vehicles for vivid if unattractive characters; Sir Cautious and Sir Gravity, eternal bureaucrat figures, could be made truly ridiculous by mugging comedians. Presumably Howard wrote with the talents of particular actors in mind—experienced Restoration writers usually did. The Country Gentleman was intended for the King's Company, and Howard would have been thoroughly familiar with their personnel, especially since they had staged all five of his previous plays. 42 From the Folger manuscript one cannot deduce a great deal about the planned stage production. The scribe was obviously copying from foul papers, rather than a polished fair copy or a prompt copy. Settings are not described and stage directions are supplied sparingly. The scribe uses the conventional act opening (e.g., "Act: I: Sc: 1."), but in fact there are no formal subdivisions into scenes. Lack of scene description obscures an important fact: the play is set within a single house. Likewise the action is kept within a single day. Thus the play conforms to contemporary French and Italian neoclassic dramatic theory and is consistent with the position Howard is made to occupy as Crites in Dryden's Essay of Dramatick Poesie. Curiously, Howard had objected to just such restrictions in his Preface to Four New Plays in 1665. The result here is a tidy play, but one lacking the varied bustle of The Committee with its multiple interests and many shifts of scene. The Country Gentleman is both somewhat old-fashioned and almost revolutionary. In its firm purity and romantic view of marriage, the comedy seems far from au courant, while Howard's experiment with the gay couple is so sub-

Introduction

[39

dued as to be almost invisible save by contrast with his earlier work. The amount of reliance placed on verbal badinage is quite exceptional. Very little action occurs: in this respect Howard seems to be following the lead of plays like Etherege's She wou'd if she cou'd and Sedley's The MulberryGarden, both produced in the spring of 1668. Howard's revolution is in the ideology of the play: the exemplary father and the championing of country against city are simply astonishing in the 1660s, though entirely logical in light of Howard's earlier plays. Howard went his own way, insisting on exemplary morals and engaging in a kind of satire which utilizes positive as well as negative examples. More clearly than all but a handful of other Restoration comedies, The Country Gentleman embodies a full and definite set of positive values. To find a play with an equivalent combination of exemplary didacticism, positive and negative satire, and farcical high spirits, one might have to look as late as Richard Steele's fascinating and neglected The Funeral (1701). In the years 1668-72, writers warmly debated the proper nature of comedy: theoretical pleadings for other types notwithstanding, farce and sex-comedy proved most viable in the theatre. In retrospect, we can see The Country Gentleman as a potential contribution to a debate. Dryden and Edward Howard were championing "heroic comedy"; Etherege was moving toward a "refined" comedy of wit and manners; Shadwell was upholding a more satiric form of "London" comedy. Sir Robert Howard, we find, was looking to combine elements of Etherege's witty conversation with Shadwell's sharper, lower-life satire. To these elements he added his own positive norms in a remarkably effective and enjoyable combination. The sad fate of this cheerful comedy had nothing to do with its essential design. The accidental adaptability of Sir Cautious Trouble-all as a portrait of Sir William Coventry seems to have suggested to the wily Buckingham a way to use his friend's comedy as an avenue of attack on a political opponent. And the scene he inserted, making the identification unmistakable, provoked a reaction that shook the whole government of England.

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Notes Winifrid, Lady Burghclere, George Villiers Second Duke of Buckingham (1903; rpt. Port Washington, New York: Kennikat, 1971), p. 188. Her quotation is from Reresby's Memoirs, p. 76. The most reliable biography of Buckingham is John Harold Wilson's A Rake and His Times (New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1954), to which we are indebted. We have also consulted Arthur Mizener's "George Villiers Second Duke of Buckingham: His Life and a Canon of His Works" (Ph.D. diss. Princeton University, 1934). On Arlington, see Violet Barber, Henry Bennet Earl of Arlington (Washington, D.C.: American Historical Association, 1914). 1

2 The persistent but erroneous reports that Lord Halifax was involved probably stemmed from three facts: he was a friend and ally of Coventry; he was Henry Savile's brother; and his kinsman the Earl of Shrewsbury had been killed by Buckingham in a duel a year earlier. 3 For an account of the continuing animus between Howard and Clarendon in 1669 see P. H. Hardacre, "Clarendon, Sir Robert Howard, and Chancery Office-Holding at the Restoration," HLQ 38 (1975): 207-14. 4 French diplomatic archives in the Quai D'Orsay, "Affaires Étrangères," letters of 11, 14, 18, and 20 March 1669 (New Style). Translations by Annick Scouten-Rouet. 5 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, 1668-69, p. 222. 6 Coventry must have received early warning that the King was digging up a dormant statute from the reign of Henry VII to use against him. Consequently he did the equivalent of "pleading the Fifth Amendment." 7 Colbert says initially that Coventry, "infuriated by the performance" of the play, sent Savile to Buckingham (letter of 1/11 March). But Pepys tells us otherwise, and Colbert's own letter of the 4/14th clearly implies that no performance took place. In that letter he does note that the affair brought people flocking to the King's theatre: "the most considerable people at the court have offered Coventry their help and all his friends were loudly threatening to ill treat the comedians on the stage if they were daring enough to put on the comedy that caused the quarrel. On the contrary the Duke's house was practically deserted." 8 B.M. Add. MS. 36,916 f. 129. Two points in Starkey's account (not quoted) seem erroneous. He says that Lord Arlington was the

Introduction

[41

man who tattled to the King—but this seems very unlikely, since he would have been delighted to see his bitterest rival killed or disgraced. And Starkey implies that the Privy Council meeting took place Monday 1 March, while Pepys and other evidence suggest Wednesday 3 March as the correct date. 9 See Julia Cartwright, Madame (New York: Scribner's, 1894), p. 283. 10 Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report 12, Part 7, p. 62. 11 Curiously enough The Rehearsal (staged in December 1671), the burlesque on heroic plays which has preserved Buckingham's name in the history of English drama, appears to contain a telling cut at the Earl of Arlington. See George McFadden, "Political Satire in The Rehearsal," Yearbook of English Studies 4 (1974): 120-28. To this hit there is not a whisper of contemporary reaction. If Arlington saw it, he was evidently wise enough to turn a blind eye. 12 Annals of English Drama 975-1700, comp. Alfred Harbage, rev. S. Schoenbaum (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1964). 13 I.e., George Villiers, Second Duke of Buckingham. u y j e exchange such information about once a week. Of the other four items in this particular list, one quickly turned into a note (Robert D. Hume, "The Date of Dryden's Marriage A-la-Mode," Harvard Library Bulletin 21 [1973]: 161-66), two are finished Supplement entries, and on one we remain completely and hopelessly stuck. 15 Had the only preserved copy been the one shown to King Charles—with the key scene removed—the identification could not have been more than speculative. 18 E. J. Labarre, Dictionary and Encyclopaedia of Paper and PaperMaking (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1952), p. 352. 17 For bibliographical advice and assistance we are much indebted to Mrs. Laetitia Yeandle of the Folger Library. 18 In deference to the Folger's preferences, we have refrained from specifying the price. 19 Raphael King died in 1955. His former book-keeper, Mrs. Violet Ebberson (née Diver) has very kindly informed us that most of King's ledgers were destroyed in 1965, and that there is no reference to The Country Gentleman in those which have been preserved. The MS was not included in any of King's printed catalogues. 20 Robert Stanley Forsythe (The Relations of Shirley's Plays to the Elizabethan Drama [1914; reprint ed. New York: Blom, 1965], pp. 93-94) reports more than a hundred instances from the earlier part of the century. 21 An annotated census of them, intended to assist would-be

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identifiers, will be published shortly by Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume in HLB. 22 A stickler for genealogical precision would have called her Lady Anne Deerhurst between April 1697 and July 1699. Deerhurst was Thomas Coventry's courtesy title between the time of the creation of the earldom and his father's death. 2 3 The Countess, famed late in life for her piety, does turn out to have been a regular collector of Swift (A Tale of a Tub, The Conduct of the Allies), Pope and Swift Miscellanies, La Rochefoucault, and other thoroughly worldly books. 24 For a full account see H. J. Oliver, Sir Robert Howard 1626-1698: A Critical Biography (Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 1963). 25 Ibid, p. 134. 2 6 See Phillips' Compendiosa Enumeratio Poetarum and R. G. Howarth's comments on it, MLR 54 (1959): 321-28. 27 John Downes, Roscius Anglicanus (London: Playford, 1708), p. 22.

28 Alfred Harbage, "Elizabethan-Restoration Palimpsest," MLR 35 (1940): 287-319. 2 8 Alfred Harbage, Cavalier Drama (New York: MLA, 1936), pp. 248-49; Montague Summers, The Playhouse of Pepys (London: Routledge, 1935), pp. 176-78; Allardyce Nicoli, A History of English Drama, 1660-1900, rev. ed., 6 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1952-59), I: 137-38; Oliver, Chapter 8; James Sutherland, "John Gay," in Pope and His Contemporaries, ed. James L. Clifford and Louis A. Landa (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949), p. 204—"Who would guess from the histories of literature that The Duke of Lerma is almost the finest English tragedy written in the second half of the seventeenth century?" 30 An Essay of Dramatick Poesie, in The Works of John Dryden, vol. XVII, ed. Samuel Holt Monk, et al. (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1971), p. 74. 31 For an account of this literary quarrel, see Robert D. Hume, Dryden's Criticism (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1970), pp. 40-42, and on the backgrounds and ramifications, Oliver, Chapter 6. 32 "The Duel of the Crabs," a parody by Dorset (or perhaps Dorset in collaboration with Henry Savile) is particularly memorable. 3 3 For a fuller account of the plays and trends of the 1660s, see Robert D. Hume, The Development of English Drama in the Late Seventeenth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), Chapter 6. 34 See The London Stage 1660-1800, Part 1: 1660-1700, ed. Williaim

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Van Lennep, Emmett L. Avery, and Arthur H. Scouten (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1965), p. 100. 35 A manuscript of the originell version is preserved in the Portland Papers at the University of Nottingham and is being edited by Mr. Richard Perkin. 36 Historical Manuscripts Commission, 14th Report, Appendix, Part 2 (1894), Portland MSS, vol. ΙΠ, p. 357. 37 The subject has been studied by Elizabeth Mignon, Crabbed Age and Youth (Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 1947). 38 On this subject see John Harrington Smith, The Gay Couple in Restoration Comedy (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1948). 39 At a later date the egregious Melantha in Dryden's Marriage A-la-Mode learns French worefs from vocabulary lists, as does the ludicrous Mr. Jorden in Ravenscroft's The Citizen Turn'd Gentleman (1672). In Wycherley's The Gentleman Dancing-Master (1672) "Mounsieur de Paris" "a vain Coxcomb . . . newly returned from France, and mightily affected with the FRENCH Language and Fashions" is made to abandon his pretension by a cranky prospective father-inlaw—who demands that he take up Spanish ones instead! 40 Whether The Country Gentleman bears any relation to Edward Howard's The London Gentleman (lost) there is no way to tell. Nothing is known of that play save an entry in the Stationers' Registër, 7 August 1667. 41 Pepys is constantly seeing them together. H. C. Foxcroft observes that "Coventry's devotion to business was a favorite topic of ridicule with Buckingham in the years 1667 and 1668 while both of them occupied positions of "Ministerial predominance." The Life and Letters of Sir George Savile, Bart. First Marquis of Halifax, 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1898), I: 61. The phrase "men of business" is a commonplace sneer in Restoration comedy—for example, see Shadwell, A True Widow, in Works, ed. Montague Summers, 5 vols. (London: Nonesuch, 1927), ΙΠ: 300, 317; Nat. Lee, The Princess of Cleve, in Works, ed. Thomas B. Stroup and Arthur L. Cooke, 2 vols. (1954-55; reprint ed. Metuchen, N. J.: Scarecrow, 1968), II: 178. 42 To speculate on who was designed for the various roles verges on Montague Summersism, but perhaps some conjectures are not out of place. A good cast for these characters could be assembled out of the King's Company roster for the 1668-69 season. For example:

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THE COUNTRY Sir Richard Plainbred Worthy & Lovetruth Vapor & Slander Sir Cautious Trouble-all and Sir Gravity Empty Trim Mistress Finical Fart Philadelphia & Isabella Kate and Lucy

GENTLEMAN Wintersell Mohun and Hart Kynaston and Robert Shatterall (Jo Hayns if available) Cartwright and Burt John Lacy Katherine Corey Rebecca Marshall and Margaret Hughes (Nell Gwynn if available) Knepp and Uphill (or Eastland or Rutter)

Of these we might expect Corey and Lacy to be pretty definite—the company had no comparable alternatives, and indeed they would have been superbly fitted to the vehicles H o w a r d provided. Most of the other parts are at least subject to a good guess: w e know the various actors' " l i n e s . "

S AN EXPLANATION OF TEXTUAL POLICY

Our object is to present the most easily readable text consistent with accurate representation of the manuscript. The scribe was evidently working from foul papers or a copy of them, not from a prompt copy or a copy prepared for publication. Consequently we have not felt rigidly bound by his choice of letters—occasional long " s , " " u " for a medial " v , " miniscule "y" to begin sentences, and so forth. Nonetheless, original spelling and punctuation have been retained, with inconsistencies, save for the exceptions noted below. Silent Changes. (1) The names of the speakers are spelled out in full, and where they vary in spelling (e.g., Finical/Finicall, Slander/Slaunder) we have adopted the more common form. (2) All abbreviations are silently expanded except " M r " and " M r s " when they stand next to a name. Thus "Gentm." becomes "Gentleman"; "Lap" becomes "Ladyship"; " & " becomes "and"; "conversacon" becomes "conversation"—and so forth. (3) U silently becomes V as appropriate. (4) All foreign phrases in the text are italicized for clarity. (5) Terminal periods for speeches and stage directions have been supplied where they are lacking. (6) Capitalization and italics in stage directions have been normalized; the scribe is extremely inconsistent. (7) Stage directions have been placed 45

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as seems appropriate to speech and action, not automatically positioned as they appear in the MS. (8) In a few instances we have put words or phrases in quotation marks for clarity. All quotation marks in the text are editorial interpolations. (9) The first word of each new speech is automatically capitalized. Emendations. All emendations are entered in the textual notes. (1) Obvious scribal errors have been corrected. (2) Where the original spelling is seriously confusing, or has an actively misleading modern sense, we have changed it—e.g., "then" used to mean "than," of/off, loose/lose, I/Aye, least/lest. (3) We have inserted some possessive apostrophes, but only where omission would be seriously confusing—e.g., "Townsend" used to mean "town's end." (4) On past participles the scribe is completely inconsistent (e.g., bewitched, bewitchd, bewitcht; loud, lou'd [for "loved"]; talkt, reduc't, etc.). We have retained the inconsistencies, but following a common seventeenth-century printing house practice we have supplied an apostrophe for a missing " e . " Thus "informd" becomes "inform'd," etc. (5) We have added missed entrances and exits as needed, and this is indicated by the use of brackets within the text. (6) We have concluded interrupted speeches with a dash. (7) For clarity, we have altered capitalization in a few instances—e.g., "ile." (8) Where the scribe's erratic punctuation is entirely lacking or seriously misleading we have added it or altered it. Explanatory and textual notes are keyed to line numbers enumerated consecutively through each act. Readers should note that stage directions (abbreviated S.D.) are not counted in the lineation. Where a note refers to a stage direction not on a numbered line we have followed the convention by which "262.1" refers to the first line of a stage direction following line 262, and so forth.

The éb Country Gentleman

S PERSONS IN THE PLAY

Roger Trim A scheming barber, formerly a servant to Sir Richard Plainbred; determined to arrange a profitable marriage for his daughters. Mistress Finical Fart A scheming landlady, a middle-aged pretender to gentility who affects French words and fashions. Jack Vapor and Tom Slander Two lying fops, scheming cowards who hope to marry Isabella and Philadelphia for their money. Sir Cautious Trouble-all [Sir William Coventry] and Sir Gravity Empty [Sir John Duncomb] Two grave "men of business"; caballing fools; also courting Isabella and Philadelphia for their money. the name of a character described as " A Madman" in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. TROUBLE-ALL:

49

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Worthy and Lovetruth Two country gentlemen of wit and sense; in love with Isabella and Philadelphia. Sir Richard

Plainbred

An exemplary country gentleman, wise and witty, who detests city fashions and believes in old-fashioned country virtues. Isabella and

Philadelphia

Sir Richard's witty daughters; heiresses; in love with Worthy and Lovetruth. Kate and Lucy Trim's daughters. Ned and Will Boys in Sir Richard's household. John A servant. A Maid Servant to Mrs Finical.

é Act i. Scene i.

Enter

TRIM

and

MRS FINICALL.

Nay nay is your house ready, Mrs Finicall? Mr Trim I am a person that seldome give permission to my affairs to be in disorder. TRIM. Well well Mrs Finicall, half these words had suffic'd; my trade is to clip superfluities. MRS FINICAL. I'de have you to know Mr Trim I am a person— TRIM. Enough good Mrs Finical, your guests will be here immediatly, I'le assure you. I did a neighbors part to help you to such Lodgers. MRS FINICAL. Why truly neighbor Trim I have had persons of the best quality, that have bin pleas'd to think my accomodation as to point of Lodgings very sufficient— and me— TRIM. Very sufficient too without question. TRIM.

MRS FINICAL.

0.1) S.D. Enter: the location here and in Acts 2, 3, and 5 is the parlor of Mrs Finical's rooming-house. 1) Nay: an exclamation or introductory word without any sense of negation. 6) person: a man or woman of distinction or importance (OED, sb. Π. 2. c.); cf. Dryden, The Assignation (1672), I, i: " A man of my parts is a person."

51

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Yes sir, as to point of conversation I have not bin a stranger to the best breeding; my father was kill'd— TRIM. No history now I beseech you: Sir Richard Plainbred is an honest Countrey Gentleman; he loves few words, and those of the plainest sort. Had it not bin for an 20 extraordinary occasion, this Town had not had Sir Richards company. MRS FINICAL. Why, does he hate this Town, the place of such refin'd and transcendent conversation? TRIM. Yes, for he swears he lives here in ignorance, and the plainest dealing he us'd to find was among the Lyons, for he knew when they were angry by their roaring: he never understood what fine people meant, either by what they said or did. MRS FINICAL. Blesse me, I shall hardly affect such Company. 30 TRIM. And tis odds but he will have as litle kindnes for yours, for he had as lieve you should spit at him, as sputter new coyn'd words, he'l pay for what he has, here's one there's t'other, promise litle perform more, vexes no body, but apt to be vext and angry at other mens faults, and has few of his own. MRS FINICAL. N O W I swear I have lodg'd two persons here in my back lodgings, one Mr Worthy, and Mr Lovetruth just of this Knights humour. I cannot expresse myself with a bonne mine, but they fall upon me with a most 40 unbred audaciousnes. TRIM. Well no more grievances Mrs Finical, but get your lodgings ready: I sent my man to the Town's end to conduct 'em to your house: burn sweets in the chambers, and be ready to receive your guests with your best endearment. MRS FINICAL. Must their dyet be drest in my house? TRIM. Nay, that let them resolve you— begon good Landlady, and dispatch— (Exit FINICAL. MRS FINICAL.

17) kill'd: "at a Civil War battle, on the Royalist side," a formulaic assurance of respectability in the early Restoration. 30) affect: have a liking for.

Act 1. Scene 1.

[53

Now methinks I long to see my old Master: he bound me prentice I thank him, and I am bound to him for what I have— Trim thou art witty— h a —

50

Enter VAPOR and SLAUNDER. VAPOR. Honest Trim thou man of unshaken faith, we were to enquire for thee at thy own house; but saw thee enter the premisses, and come to bespeak two new perii wigs. TRIM. I know not Gallants whether you shake my faith or no, but by my troth you make me tremble to hear you talk of new perriwigs; you know how sharp the last Bill was, and to whet it a litle more, when perchance the 60 edge may be turn'd against my self were to be Felode-se. SLANDER. Trim be not so witty to thy own destruction, no more but so— VAPOR. If you persist in want of faith at this present, no salvation to be expected from us, and that ready money that you might have, shall be transfer'd for a fundation of new credit to another Clipster. TRIM. At this rate Gentlemen your poor Creditors must be forc't to maintain you, while you walk with our ruins 70 about you. SLANDER. Not so Trim we consider your several abilities. TRIM. And tax us in a Subsidy way, but you nam'd some ready money. VAPOR. Some there shall be to refresh Trim. TRIM. Well you shall have two new periwigs. SLANDER. But d'hear Trim the hair of our last dropt off like the wool of a rotten sheep. VAPOR. Nay tis very true Trim, therfore no more waiting at Tyburn; there Slaunder and I one execution day saw 80 61-62) Felo-de-se: suicide. 73) Subsidy way: a reference to the unpopular revival of the old Tudor "subsidy" taxes, tried with mediocre success by Charles II between 1663 and 1671. See David Ogg, England in the Reign of Charles 11, 2 vols. (1934; rev. ed., Oxford, 1956), II: 434-36.

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GENTLEMAN

our beloved Trim attend the hangman with a bag under your coat: we find now we are put off with dead ha ire. TRIM. Why Gentlemen if ever their Ghosts come to demand their hair, you shal pay nothing for it, that's fair, but for your live hair, I justify it. SLANDER. Live hair from dead men? TRIM. Yes Sir, for if cut off while they are warm, it retains its spiritual vivacity: This is true Philosophy, as the hangman told me, who is a great searcher into nature. 90 VAPOR. 'Slife Tom I shall never hear a noise in my chamber, but I shal think a ghost is coming for his locks. TRIM. You need not apprehend Sir, for tis all womens hair, the mens is too short, and those that pay that fatal visit to Tiburn are most commonly bawds and whores, whose wel known images cannot fright your Worships. SLANDER. Witty Trim, but prithee what dost thou do here? these are hansome Lodgings. TRIM. Why Gentlemen I have taken these Lodgings u p — 100 for— VAPOR. Wenches. TRIM. No Sir, honest women, and those that may easily continue so. SLANDER. And be women? TRIM. Yes Sir, being rich women. VAPOR. How rich Trim? D'mee, thou art the honest fellow. TRIM. But they are richer than I am honest, Sir Richard Plainbreds daughters, and heirs, and the richest that the West of England ever brag'd of, and the sweetest— 110 Well I am in hast, you shall have your perriwigs. SLANDER. Nay nay a word dear Trim. TRIM. By my troth they are ready to come. VAPOR. Nay dear Trim, really Tom, Trim is a very worthy fellow. TRIM. But in horrible hast. SLANDER. Nay but Trim be but assisting, and we will— TRIM. What? speak out.

Act 1. Scene 1.

[55

Why make thee flourish for ever, thy basons shall be converted into silver. 120 VAPOR. And all the sawcers thou let'st bloud in. SLANDER. Thy box of instruments of beaten silver, and a case for thy Citteme of the same. VAPOR. Thy shop shall be painted in fresco, and thy Pole a massy wedge of silver. TRIM. And if I can procure opportunity. VAPOR. Enough, enough Trim for thy part, we are not us'd, to be refus'd. SLANDER. Refus'd! Jack Vapor and I know the trouble of that willing sex. 'Slife their importunities are so insupport- 130 able, that we must marry for a refuge: D'mee 'twere a very great pleasure to be shown a woman that would refuse. TRIM. Well Gentlemen you'l secure my reward. VAPOR. To thy own liking. TRIM. Well then there's another party must be made, namely, the Landlady Mrs Finical. SLANDER. But how shal we dispose her? TRIM. O you need not fear, she admires a Bo Garson as you call it, I'le call her to you, and give her a whisper by 140 the way. VAPOR. Doe honest Trim. (Exit TRIM. 'Slife Tom I fancy this jade fortun begins to smile upon us, rich heirs as it were cast upon us. SLANDER. That we could but see these wealthy as Indian Vessels come sayling this way. VAPOR. The divell take me Tom wee'l clap 'em aboard quickly, methinks Tom we look like Privateers man'd out by Trim, who goes 'no purchas no pay'. SLANDER.

Enter

TRIM

and

FINICAL

whispering.

123) Citterne: Citterns were kept in barber shops for the use of the customers. Cf. Ford's The Lover's Melancholy, II, i. 139) Bo Garson: Fr. beau garçon; cf. The Rehearsal (1671), I, ii.: "Why, for a beau gerson." 145) these wealthy: possibly a hiatus in the MS, with a word such as ladies omitted.

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GENTLEMAN

See where he corns inspiring the Landlady— and how 150 they eye us. TRIM. Your reward shall be sure, procure you opportunity, and these be the Gallants that will procure them. MRS FINICAL. Procure them, procure them say— or any woman breathing; goodnes, goodnes, what gentile persons they are, how their periwigs sit, how fragrantly they smell, what a prodigious fancy they have in their garnitures. TRIM (aside to them). The Landlady is won—approach. VAPOR. Madam. 160 MRS FINICAL. O blesse me here's breeding. VAPOR. We are persons that are sensible of an obligation, and we have an humble request to implore from your faire Gentlenes. MRS FINICAL (aside). O most ravishing— procure ' e m — I warrant y o u — Aye. SLANDER. We hope Madam our friend Mr Trim has render'd you some account of our request, and realy Madam we would not have thirsted for the honor of your friendship; but that we were well inform'd that you were a 170 person that understood honor. TRIM. Very good. MRS FINICAL. O sweet Gentlemen I find a correspondent pleasure to serve you and shall perform my part punctualy, for I assure you that although I am now reduc't to let Lodgings, yet I am a person that have seen the world, and my father was a person— TRIM. Nay good Mrs Finical no Heraldry, nor history at this time, your guests will be with us before we are aware. MRS FINICAL. In fine then be secure Galants of my devotions; 180 for you shall find me a person— TRIM. Nay good Mistress no m o r e — Gentlemen begon, you know where I live, and here you may privatly lay your designs with Mrs Finicall; begon now, and as soon as they come you shall have notice. 155) gentile: genteel. 158) garnitures: ornaments or trimmings added to dress.

Act 1. Scene 1.

[57

Thanks honest Trim, Madam we kisse your hands and live your creaturs. SLANDER. My best services attend your Ladyship. (Exeunt VAPOR and SLANDER, MRS FINICAL. O me the finest sweetest, the most delicate (FINICAL curtsies very low.) spoken men, that ever sa- 190 luted my eyes; procure kyther; yes neighbor Trim the Ladyes are their own at first sight— they scatter the sweetest charms. TRIM. How she neighs after the hobby-horses. VAPOR.

Enter SIR CAUTIOUS TROUBLE-ALL and SIR GRAVITY EMPTY looking about. Neighbor Trim, who are these? Peace, great men that traffique in busines. CAUTIOUS. Very fair lodgings. EMPTY. Yes very fair Lodgings; O Mr Trim are ycru acquainted here? TRIM. Please your honours I have known my neighbor Mrs 200 Finical and her Lodgings which I have now taken for a noble Master of mine. CAUTIOUS. Truly Mr Trim you have prevented us: we came with a designe to have taken 'em for some friends of ours. TRIM. Had I known your honours intentions, I should have accomodated my Master Sir Richard Plainbred elswhere, who is now just at the Town's end, with his two daughters his heires, who is brought up by the death of his brother; whose faire estate now joyn'd to 210 his makes his daughters the richest heires, that ever the West of England brag'd of. MRS FINICAL. TRIM.

191) kyther: the phrase "quoth he" with sarcastic force; cf. Ralph Roister Doister, lines 904-5: "ko I, ko she." Buckingham uses the expression in The Rehearsal, giving it as "quoth a , " I, ii, and V, i. 209) is brought: the text may seem corrupt, but from later references in the play we learn that what Trim means is that the death of the brother brought Sir Richard to London to settle legal matters in connection with his brother's estate.

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

CAUTIOUS. Sir Gravity, this may be worthy of our consultation, the subject matter of our debate must be rich heir es. EMPTY. Yes, that's clear, it must be of rich heirs. CAUTIOUS. But our designs m u s t — EMPTY. Aye sir our designs must— CAUTIOUS. What, Sir Gravity? EMPTY. Why Sir Cautious as you were a saying. CAUTIOUS. Your pardon Sir Gravity I suppos'd you were offering somwhat, but since you command me, I'le lay it downe for a rule: ther's no going through a designe without Caballing. EMPTY. N O Sir, nothing to be don without Caballing. MRS FINICAL. I do not like these dull men neighbor. 1 [ Aside. TRIM. O they are men of wisedom. J CAUTIOUS. A n d — therfore— Parties must be dispos'd. EMPTY. N O doubt on't. CAUTIOUS. And their Father must k n o w — EMPTY. Without question. CAUTIOUS. What, Sir Gravity? EMPTY. Why their father must needs know somthing. CAUTIOUS. Right, what we are, what men of power and buisnes. EMPTY. Without doubt. CAUTIOUS. And Trim, and the Landlady must be us'd.

220

230

EMPTY. B y a l l m e a n s .

CAUTIOUS. And break their power with Sir Richard that oppose us. EMPTY. Without question. CAUTIOUS. And give 'em out for undertaking fellows, and spoile their credit. EMPTY. Aye, aye, undertakers by all means. 224) Caballing: petty plotting, intriguing; the earliest example in the OED is from 1680. 244) undertakers; men engaged in nefarious enterprises to influence the action in Parliament, especially on money bills (OED). Ironically, Howard was considered one of them; see Pepys, 14 Feb. 1668: " T h e House is . . . quite mad at the Undertakers, as they are commonly called, Littleton, Lord Vaughan, Sir R. Howard. . . . "

240

Act 1. Scene 1.

[59

Sir Gravity, let us divide our negotiations; discourse you with the Landlady, while I transact with Trim— Mr Trim a word. I take it you said rich heires. TRIM. Yes Sir the glory of the West, their land reaches to the sea, and their Royalty of fishing to the Ocean. CAUTIOUS. Why Mr Trim I have heard of Sir Richard Plainbred and his Estate, tis large, and in short Mr Trim if you will be assisting to us in the getting of these fortunes, yours shal be made; you know who we are, and what we can doe. TRIM. I know your honours can make me at any time. CAUTIOUS. Let me see— there are Clarks places— many, and I suppose you can write a faire hand. TRIM. And flourish a letter, I thank my good Master Sir Richard. CAUTIOUS. Or there are places that may be executed by a Deputy. TRIM. O good Sir your honours may depend upon me. CAUTIOUS. Enough, within an houre wee'l call at your house, and consult, but what is this Landlady? TRIM. I doubt Sir but a crosse humoursom jade, and I fear engag'd for some others, but your honours shall be better inform'd. CAUTIOUS. If it be so Trim, destroy her credit with Sir Richard as soon as ever he comes; Trim thou shalt learn policy — Well— thou maist be fit for buisnes in Time. CAUTIOUS.

TRIM. O Lord Sir.

Sir Gravity no more till I inform you: how d'you find her? EMPTY. Why faith a man may say upon consideration of the first time, and according to what might be expected as to the point of a woman— CAUTIOUS. Come I shall inform you more fully— Farewell Mistress. (Exeunt. CAUTIOUS.

264) Landlady: not an aside; Empty and Mrs Finical are at one side of the stage while Cautious and Trim are at the other; Cautious then departs without going over to bid Mrs Finical goodbye, thus incurring her wrath. 265) doubt: doubt not, i.e., fear. 265) crosse humoursom: peevish, obstinate, cantankerous.

250

260

270

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Marry come up to these persons of honor— onely to cry 'Farewell Mistress'; marry come up, 'Breeding'— I swear the other two were angels to these honorable clowns: they would have said at least 'Madam your Ladyships servant'. TRIM. But these are men of buisnes. MRS FINICAL. Men of buisnes, it may be they put on busy faces, and look like dull harefinders: Pray let me be troubled no more with these dull men of buisinesse. TRIM. Nay but Mrs Finical. MRS FINICAL. Nay but Mr Trim, I'le hear no more of their dull honours— 'Mistress' marry come up.

MRS FINICAL.

Enter

280

290

WORTHY.

But one word Mistress. Not half— let me alone I say— 'Mistress' forsooth— WORTHY. How now my belov'd, in wrath? Who has stir'd my tinkling cymbal? TRIM (aside). Sure this is one of her Countrey guests— MRS FINICAL. Pish Mr Worthy pray stand off— Lord how you smell of ale. WORTHY. Ale, why thou person of a Madam so cal'd; my forefathers begot one another upon the strength of ale, and drew a dreadfull long bow, and were terrible to their foes, and wou'd hit the marke as certainly, as by its inspiration I thus ayme at thy flanting pinner. TRIM.

MRS FINICAL.

279) Marry come up: an expression of amused surprise or contempt; see Cowley's Cutter of Coleman Street (1661), I, ii: "marry come up; won't one of my choosing serve your turn?" Cf. "hoity-toity." 286) harefinders: men whose business it is to espy a hare; cf. Shadwell, The Virtuoso (1676), III: "You stare about like a Hare-finder." 295) tinkling cymbal: a biblical allusion, rare in Restoration comedy; see 1 Corinthians 13:1. 303) flanting: the waving flaps of the pinner. 303) pinner: a coif; see Pepys, 18 April 1664: " L a d y Castlemaine . . . in yellow satin and a pinner o n . "

300

Act 1. Scene 1.

[61

(aside). 'Slife this is the maddest blade— MRS FINICAL. As I am a living woman I'le cry out; I was bewitched when I took such a rude unbred fellow into my Lodgings, I that have bin esteemed by persons of quality for my converse, and those that understand breeding and the mode, and to entertaine according to the fashion, to be thus affronted. 310 WORTHY. Vomit no more then in the dispraise of ale, true English liquor, for the sake of those modish things thou talkest of. I gratify my revenge upon thee, as one of the wel-bred apparitions, and would have all the fashionable spirits conjured out of the nation, that men of substance may walk unterrify'd; Leave jarring, my sweet Jewes harp— and d'heare, are not you a Barber? TRIM. Yes Sir, my name's Trim at your service. WORTHY. Wipe off those pearly drops with thy soft checquer'd apron. 320 MRS FINICAL. If thy friends were living, they would be sorry to see how they had cast away education upon thee, thou art e'en now past breeding. WORTHY. That's all our faults, for I suppose by the reverend promises of thy countenance thou should be past breeding too. MRS FINICAL. Neibor Trim as ever you will believe me, I am not thirty yet and he belies me basely— to be abus'd thus in the sight of my neighbor— knock and be hang'd another night, I'le ne'r rise in my smock 330 more to let thee in to be abus'd thus for my good will. (Weeps.) WORTHY. D'heare Mr Trim, do you shave my Landlady? TRIM. What do you mean Sir? WORTHY. Why I mean Sir she has a beard, you may see her tears like drops of the tankard hang upon it. TRIM. There will be no losse Sir, she'l lick 'em up, and keep 'em in store for the next crying. WORTHY. Most ingenious Trim, from this jest thou shalt commence my barber. TRIM

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

TRIM. I shall be glad to serve your worship, and you shall 340 find me a person— WORTHY. Make a fine speech to me Sir, and I'le begin to shave your crown— Come, come— Nay good Landlady no more eruptions. 'Slife ev'ry sob raises the divellishest belch— come clear up, and we'l dine together, and be all made friends with lusty ale, and thou as Maudlin. MRS FINICAL. Hands off, help neighbour. Enter

LOVETRUTH.

Why how now? my Landlady imbost— Nay prithee Worthy— prithee now— dost not remember the catterwauling the other night without doors; and hast thou a mind to have as much within? FINICAL. Thou art as rude as he for thy life— Pray neighbor Trim help me; I swear one time or other when they are a li tie fluster'd, they'le endanger my chastity, for if you'l believe, I swear these two ruffianlike youths came in the other night possest with ale, and tost me upon the bed, and then went away like raskals as they were, and did no more.

LOVETRUTH.

MRS

Enter a

MAID

350

running.

But for my part— MAID. Mistress, Mistress there's a coach at the dore and company in it abus'd by some Gentlemen that past by, offended it seems with the coachmans driving so near 'em; indeed there may be hurt don. 341) person: Note that Trim is dealt with harshly, unlike the generally sympathetic treatment accorded the clever servant in most Restoration comedies; here the toadying wretch immediately starts talking like Mrs Finical. 347) Maudlin: tearful (in allusion to the many pictures in which the Magdalen was represented weeping-OED). 349) imbost: foaming at the mouth from rage or exhaustion; also, it may mean " a m b u s h e d . " Cf. Otway, Cuius Marius (1680), IV, ii: " W a s ever lion thus by dogs e m b o s s ' d ? " and an OED citation from 1654: " A s Mules and Horses, who are imboss'd, foame and chafe the more."

360

Act 1. Scene 1.

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'Slife Lovetruth we'l see what tis— (Exeunt WORTHY and LOVETRUTH. TRIM. On my conscience, Sir Richard— (Runs after. MRS FINICAL. Have you burnt sweets in the chamber? MAID. Yes forsooth. MRS FINICAL. H O W ! rudenes? MAID. Madam I crave your pardon. MRS FINICAL. You will needs be a clown— (Clashing of swords.) blesse me there's a noise of swords— hark, prithee wench run out and bring me word what tis. [Exit MAID. WORTHY.

Enter TRIM.

TRIM

370

TRIM.

'Slid Mistress your Lodgers are whipsters, twas Sir Richards coach, and two perfum'd offended Gallants were beating the coachman, and the two Ladies crying out, but in a twinkling of an eye your two merry countrey blades took away their swords as easily as a man could a switch from an ostler— ale— gether— 'Slife tis a most admirable fighting liquor— come Landlady and meet your guests. runs out, and comes back ushering

PLAINBRED; ISABELLA and WORTHY and

380

SIR RICHARD

PHILADELPHIA led

by

LOVETRUTH.

Gentlemen I thank you now by my troth heartily; I see the fine men may be medled with: and I am glad I owe the kindnes to my worthy country friends; I know your father Mr Worthy— and yours Mr Lovetruth; they had good estats and good names; and it joyes me that you inherit both. WORTHY. We are doubly pleas'd when we can do a faire office to a worthy friend. ISABELLA. Be pleas'd to receive my thanks Sir. SIR RICHARD.

379) gether: quotha; see "kyther" above, line 191.

390

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

And mine. Wou'd we could give you cause to thank us always. SIR RICHARD. And how Mr Trim; you are well thriv'd I heare— you have taken hansom Lodgings for us. TRIM. I hope Sir they are convenient— this is your Landlady Sir. SIR RICHARD. I cry you mercy Mistress, we shall trouble you till the end of the Terme. MRS FINICAL. I shall estime my self fortunat to serve you, and 400 these faire Ladies. SIR RICHARD. She has borrow'd a printed curtesie. TRIM. He begins to find her. MRS FINICAL. Will it please your worship to have any dinner? SIR RICHARD. By al means Landlady; we country people have good stomaks; yet we came but from Branford this morning— what may we have? MRS FINICAL. You may have what you please from Jerro's, Shatlings, or Lafrondes. ^Q SIR RICHARD. What are these? MRS FINICAL. Persons that dresse according to the mode, and will dispatch your soop, cotelets, ragous, fricaces, amlets, deserts— and— SIR RICHARD. Why Mistress d'you think we can live upon names; here's not one word of beef or mutton. MRS FINICAL. Beef and Mutton— O Lord! SIR RICHARD. O Lady. MRS FINICAL. I swear I scarce understand that language; there's no person of quality now, but scorns to have his Hall stink of beef. 420 SIR RICHARD. Why then a pox of your persons of ill qual-

PHILADELPHIA. LOVETRUTH.

402) printed curtesie: Mrs Finical's speech is stolen from a printed handbook; see the reference to The Academy of Complements in III, 432. 408-9) Jerro's, Shatlings or Lafrondes: fashionable French restaurants in London. Chatelin's and Lafronde's are coupled in allusions in Dryden's Sir Martín Mar-all (1667), Shadwell's The Sullen Lovers (1668), and Sedley's The Mulberry Garden (1668). Pepys mentions Chatelin's twice. 412) cotelets (and Catlotti in line 425): variants of French côtelette. 413) amlets: omelets.

Act

1. Scene

1.

[65

ities— no marvell we cannot sell our beef— it seems they eat no English meat here, but send into France for victuals and Cooks, as well as clothes and taylors— pox on your raggi, your supos, and your Catlotti— 'Stink of beef'— ISABELLA. My father's angry. WORTHY. O let him beat her by al means. MRS FINICAL. I swear there is no person that understands eating— 430 SIR RICHARD. Understand eating, hey day— understand eating! what a divell is there any trick in it besides a good stomach? PHILADELPHIA. My father's vext. LOVETRUTH. He has found his fashionable Landlady. TRIM. Gentlemen we must stave and tale. SIR RICHARD. Understand eating, I hope tis a fashionable art— MRS FINICAL. Why is your worship so incenst? I onely inform'd your worship the manner of living; for I have 440 heard many persons of quality, and of transcendent converse say that our Ancestors— SIR RICHARD. What of them? MRS FINICAL. Did not understand eating, but liv'd upon nasty beef and heavy ale. SIR RICHARD. 'Slife Mrs Finical Fart, the slaves that said so, had no ancestors but such as they were asham'd of, Coblers, smal-coal men and kennell rakers. MRS FINICAL. I swear Sir— SIR RICHARD. Prithee doe swear, rather than say thou wilt 450 with that fashionable mumpe; what do you hang your pretty underlip for? wou'd it be thought a pretty fine young thing? 436) stave and tale: "to stave and tail" meant to intervene and separate the participants in a bear-baiting or bull-baiting by pushing away the bear or bull (here, Sir Richard) with sticks and pulling the tails of the dogs (OED, stave, 6. c. and tail, v. I. 2). Cf. Scott's Quentin Durward, ch. 33: "soon have throttled him, had not the Duke called out—'Stave and tail! . . . take them off h i m . ' " 451) mumpe: exaggerated movement of the lips in pronouncing the word.

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

I am sure 1 was never thus abus'd by a stranger. What does it cry for? begon and get me a great peece of beef, a lusty leg of mutton, and a large fat capon with white legs and spurs; my countrey servants must eat. I hear your Pages and Lackyes are kept here with the smell of meat and cabige-porrige: no more words, but about it. 460 MRS FINICAL. Will your Worship have any wine? SIR RICHARD. If there be a glasse of good sack. MRS FINICAL. There are other wines now more in vogue. SIR RICHARD. What be they? MRS FINICAL. Why there is your Bourdeaux, Burgundie, Bourgoigne, vin de Champaigne, Sillery, Hermitage, O Brian, Piedmont, Port a Port, Peralta, Escevas, vin d'Ay— SIR RICHARD. Vin divell, and a pox of him that taught thee these hard names: Pox on your Bourdeaux, Burgundie, 470 Champaigne, Sillery, sullery, Hermitage, Piedmont, Sciveses, Ribble Rabble, hark you Mistress, no more of these vogue names, but instead of all without a murmur get me some ale, well boyl'd ale, and not too feeble: no more replications, but begon and dispatch. MRS FINICAL.

SIR RICHARD.

(Exit

FINICAL.

I hope Sir my Landlady has not offended you. SIR RICHARD. Such a fashionable jade is a terrible plague; new coin'd words sting me like so many wasps— but I am glad Gentlemen we shall have your company. How now Girles, weary? ISABELLA. No Sir, but I suppose we shall be, if we stay long in this Town. WORTHY. Here is nothing worthy of such women. ISABELLA. Pray Sir take our opinion for that. LOVETRUTH. Wou'd we knew how to be convinc't. PHILADELPHIA. If we had not met you, possibly we had thought so too. WORTHY.

4 6 5 - 6 8 ) On the foreign wines see Appendix A. 482) Town: note the difference between Isabella's attitude toward London and that of such other recent arrivals as Harriet in The Man of Mode and Margery Pinchwife in The Country Wife.

480

Adi.

Scene!.

[67

TRIM. I have an humble request to your worship. SIR RICHARD. What may that be good Mr Trim? TRIM. That you would be pleas'd to give my two daughters leave to attend my Mistresses; I have bestow'd good breeding, and good clothes on 'em, and I hope they know how to behave themselvs. SIR RICHARD. No question they can make the new fashionable hip-shotten curtsie, with faces cover'd with nothing but paint and patches. TRIM. No Sir, I did not forget your worships principles; they go always veil'd as much as Spanish Ladies. Well Mr Trim they shall be welcom: Gentlemen you are my guests today; nay no excuses.

SIR RICHARD.

Once more plain hearty thanks receive from me, In words as naked as Truth ought to be. Finis actus primi.

495) hip-shotten: as with a dislocated hip-joint.

490

500

é Act 2. Scene i.

Enter VAPOR, SLAUNDER, FINICAL and TRIM. If you please Gentlemen to fix your scituation in this roome, I will contrive a way to have the Ladies passe by. VAPOR. Madam you oblige us, and you shall find us persons that have a generous promptitude to expresse their gratitude. MRS FINICAL. Most daintily spoken yfaith. TRIM (aside). This fantastical jade for a few new coin'd words would take the Strapado. SLANDER. Madam you need not doubt, but we that receive our happines from you, must ever be sollicitous of your felicity. MRS FINICAL. I swear your Generosities confound me in a Labyrinthious amaze, but I am proud to serve the Ornaments of our Nation. MRS FINICAL.

9) Strapado: a form of torture in which the victim's hands were tied behind his back and he was hoisted by them on a pulley and let halfway down with a jerk. 13-14) Labyrinthious: a coined word; amaze: mental confusion; cf. Milton, Paradise Lost (1667), II, 38: "Into perplexity and new amaze."

69

70]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

VAPOR. Madam tis your goodnes— we will wait here in obedience to your comands. MRS FINICAL. Omit not the opportunity as they passe b y — I doubt not but the litle Archer will hit them at the first sight of such amiable objects; your servant in all transcendent obedience. (Exit

20

FINICAL.

SLANDER. She was dam'd toedious. VAPOR. O pox confound her orations. TRIM. Hark yee my noble customers, as I take it, Trim that now seems forgotten, was the first mover of this designe; but promises are turn'd over to Mrs Finicall. VAPOR. H a h a h a .

TRIM. Why so merry? SLANDER. H a h a h a .

TRIM. The jest I beseech you. VAPOR. Why thou art the jest Trim; why canst thou fancy that wee mean to give this formal Bawd any thing? TRIM. What! d'yee not? VAPOR. Yes, may be we may purchase a large Suffolk Cheese to whet her gums, and swear tis Parmesan. SLANDER. Or half a dozen botles of sowre cyder dasht with red wine, with labels of several French names sew'd to the Corks. TRIM (aside). Most excelent youths— SLANDER. No Trim we will only do for thee. Women have seldom any thing from Jack and I but good words. VAPOR. And those Mrs Finical shall alwaies receive and be laught at for her paines; but for honest T r i m — (Hugs him.) TRIM [aside]. He shal be cousin'd. SLANDER. Thou shalt T r i m — let me see. 22) toedious: tedious; the OED does riot include this form of the word. Under "tedium" it gives an example from 1665: "deceive the taedium of a winter night." Howard is engaging in the verbal ostentation for which Shadwell had ridiculed him in The Sullen Lovers. 44) cousin'd: cheated; a pun; cf. Howard's and Dryden's The Indian Queen, I, i: " B e cousen'd by thy guilty honesty/ To make thy self thy Countreyes enemy."

30

40

Act 2. Scene 1.

[71

Peace Tom, and let us for honest Trim outdoe expressions. TRIM. Well Gentlemen, lie step out and try what may be don. VAPOR. Honest Trim, I vow to Gad tis on thee we depend. TRIM [aside]. Now a third pox (for they have had two 50 already) mark these for extraordinary raskals. De keep my young Ladies from such Caterpillars— (Exit. SLANDER. Now Jack to our fortune. I fancy we look so sillily now we are going to court honest women. VAPOR. Faith Tom, I must not fancy them honest; if I doe the divell a word I shall get out. SLANDER. Pish— these countrey whitepots will so gape at fine words, and gay clothes that we shall have no more trouble but when they make us low curtsies, to take 'em up and kiss 'em. 60 VAPOR. Nay Tom I think as for our persons— our mines— and— VAPOR.

Enter

LUCY

and

KATE

with hoods over their faces.

'Slife Tom they come, but veil'd. No matter Jack for their faces, their estats are the beauties— at 'um Jack. VAPOR. Nay together Tom— Ladies I hope we shall not appeare rude. LUCY. You may chuse Gentlemen whether you will or no. VAPOR. Bless us Ladies with a litle day light. KATE. What d'yee mean? SLANDER. Draw but those sable curtains. VAPOR. Those envious clouds that hang upon your suns and make it night. LUCY. Why Gentlemen we have nothing rare to show. (Pull up their hoods.) SLANDER.

56) divell a word: the basic situation in Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer a century later. 57) whitepots: a custard made of milk, treacle, and flour; a rural delicacy.

70

72] Enter

THE COUNTRY TRIM

GENTLEMAN

hastily and stops.

VAPOR. O miracle!

O Fate. (overhears). How is this— LUCY. What's the matter? KATE. Some revelation sure. SLANDER.

TRIM

VAPOR. T h e s a m e T o m .

My heart misgave me Jack the very same. Lucv. Prithee lets steal away. SLANDER. Ladies if you go, we dye— we had free hearts, till we saw you.

80

SLANDER.

KATE. S a w us, where?

VAPOR. Alas! as you alighted from your coach. LUCY. Alighted from our coach? VAPOR. Yes Madam as you alighted with your worthy father it seem'd to us as if two deities had descended; no mortal ever appear'd so divine. 90 SLANDER. Our passions urg'd us to gaze once more upon such more than charming objects. KATE. What may this meane? LUCY. Sure they abuse us. VAPOR. We beg Madam but the permission to breath our passions to you. SLANDER. And to assure you, that though your fortuns might tempt mean durty souls; we only dote upon your persons. LUCY. Our fortunes! you are pleasant Gentlemen; sure you 100 presume upon your good clothes. KATE. Or upon the fashion, to say nothing that's true. VAPOR. We beseech you Madam; wrong not our sincere hearts. SLANDER. We are persons that never professe any thing, but what is real. LUCY. And you have told us truth. 74.1) S.D. Enter Trim: not a real entrance, for he " s t o p s " ; three lines later he is eavesdropping; in line 110 he has an aside; later he peeps from one side of the stage as Slander and Vapor leave.

Act 2. Scene!.

[73

By all that's good, by your fair selves, and by our honor. TRIM (aside). The least oath of all. 110 KATE. You saw us light out of the Coach. SLANDER. By all that's good we did, and beg permission to receive the same happines to see you often. LUCY. As much as you did then, 'twere no reason to deny you. SLANDER. You blesse us divine Ladies, wee'l retire, and ruminate on our unexpected captivity, lest we appear guilty of ill manners, by pressing at first time too much upon your gentlenes. VAPOR. Pitty our flames you faire Divinities and let 'em not 120 consume hearts that adore you; We humbly take our leaves lest we should add to the trouble of your journy, and kisse your hands fair Goddesses. SLANDER. Most divine Ladies. VAPOR. 'Slife, they are gon Tom, poor love-sick fools. SLANDER. Lets retire Jack with dying eyes— and thus chaldese 'em. (Exeunt making faces. (TRIM peeps after them. LUCY. What may this frippery mean— 'Our fortuns might tempt meane durty souls,' sure they meant old rasors, and washbals. 130 KATE. And talkt of our journey, and lighting out of a coach; they are a very impudent sort of Lyars. VAPOR.

Enter

TRIM.

LUCY.

See my father— Did you not meet two fine puppets Sir? Yes, and know the mistake; they took you two for Sir Richard Plainbred's daughters— I could fit these hot lovers— but I am a rogue if I would throw any thing upon 'em but cast-whores.

TRIM.

125) are gon: in the sense of "far gone in love"; this and the next speech are asides, as Kate and Lucy have not left the stage. 126-27) chaldese: to cheat or trick; the first example in the OED is from Butler's Hudibras (1664). 127.1) Trim peeps: he evidently leaves the stage briefly.

74]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

LUCY. If I mistake not, these kind of Gentlemen make no more of what they say, than of a tradesman's bill, 140 never examine either. KATE. I believe they are all slime within like snailes in painted shells. TRIM. They owe me money, and pay me with nothing but lyes. Enter

SIR CAUTIOUS TROUBLE-ALL,

and

SIR GRAVITY EMPTY.

Sir Cautious Trouble-all, and Sir Gravity Empty— wou'd these would mistake so— they look this way— Girles pull up your countenances, be grave, and seem what the others took you for— obay— while I pay reverence to your Ladyships— they eye them still, (TRIM 150 makes legs to them.) CAUTIOUS. These are the Ladies certainly— Whist, Mr Trim— are these— TRIM. These are they Sir— Advance. CAUTIOUS. YOU must present us Trim. EMPTY. By all means present us. TRIM. Ladies here are two honorable persons, rich merchants that desire to kisse your hands; you must know 'em by fame, when T tell you this is Sir Cautious Trouble-all, and this Sir Gravity Empty, men of parts, and buisnes. 160 [Aside to CAUTIOUS.] Dispatch. Mr Vapor and Mr Slander have bin here. CAUTIOUS. Enough, we are warn'd— Ladies, though affairs are urgent for dispatch, they must give way to our expressing ourselvs your admirers. EMPTY. Yes Ladyes, affairs must stay. LUCY. We are obliged to your honours. EMPTY. We imagin'd you must needs understand matters right; for buisnes being a weighty matter, and for all that, let it be as it will, we let you perceive that it must 170 be, as it may be. 150.1) legs: Trim bends his knee and bows to his daughters. 153) Advance: Trim addresses this to his daughters.

Act 2. Scene 1.

[75

Ladies you shall find our services real, and it may be usefull without many words. EMPTY. Nay that's true, few words are best. KATE. You counsell well Sir. CAUTIOUS. For counsell you shall not want it, and in the first place have a care of your Landlady. LUCY. Why Sir? EMPTY. Why the reason is plain, I say as Sir Cautious said, have a care of your Landlady by all means. 180 CAUTIOUS. Ladies she is a woman of contrivances. EMPTY. That is of tricks. KATE. A most admirable explanation. CAUTIOUS. And of small credit with her neighbors. EMPTY. Of li tie or none at all. CAUTIOUS. She's a seller. EMPTY. Yes she is one that sells. LUCY. What Sir? EMPTY. Sir Cautious, Lady, can tell you, as he was saying. CAUTIOUS. Yes Ladies, she sels other peoples credits. 190 LUCY. She is a dangerous woman it seems. CAUTIOUS. Tis not wise to trust her. EMPTY. By no means, as Sir Cautious wisely intimates. LUCY. 'Slife, Kate these are Scoolmasters instead of lovers. KATE. As I live, I am afraid of correction. CAUTIOUS. You may see, Ladies, our concern for your good. EMPTY. That you may easily; for we intending that your concerns shal be our concerns, and so of consequence our concerns must be your concerns, that matters may be in the way of prudential intrigues. 200 CAUTIOUS.

Enter

ISABELLA

and

PHILADELPHIA.

[aside]. How now! young Ladies— what shall I do? (Steps to them.) Ladies come own your selvs my daughters, or poor Trims hopes are fled. CAUTIOUS. What! are these Ladies?

TRIM

204) Ladies: Cautious is asking whether Isabella and Philadelphia are noblewomen.

76]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

An't please your honours they are my daughters, come to see their neighbor Mrs Finicall. CAUTIOUS. Sir Gravity, they must not visit uninstructed. EMPTY. No, by no means without instruction. CAUTIOUS. For here may grow a Cabali. EMPTY. A thousand to one else. 210 CAUTIOUS. Gentlewomen we perceive you are daughters to Mr Trim. ISABELLA. Who are these? TRIM (aside). I have undon all. CAUTIOUS. And we are friends to Mr Trim. EMPTY. Yes, Ladies, friends to Mr Trim, as Sir Cautious maturely states the question. ISABELLA. It may be so; and what then? TRIM (steps to the Ladies). Why will you undoe me? CAUTIOUS. We therfore thought fit to advise you to have no 220 intimacy with Mrs Finicall. EMPTY. No intimacy by any means. TRIM (aside). I must be bold and venture— CAUTIOUS. For as Sir Gravity advises, if you trust Mrs Finicall you will prejudice your own reputation. ISABELLA. You expect no fee. CAUTIOUS. How, Mistress? RATE. Nor you Sir, doe you? EMPTY. Why truly Ladies, as for my part, as to the point of expectation, let it be more, or lesse, prudence must 230 govern. TRIM. Nay, nay Girles their honours give good advise. ISABELLA. In pitty to our Father Trim we forbeare. (Aside and curtsy to him.) TRIM. Begon good Ladies or you will not long— ISABELLA. We thank your honours for our good advise. PHILADELPHIA. And hope we shall have the grace to remember.

TRIM.

209) Cabali: a clique or faction engaged in secret intrigue. This is not an allusion to " t h e Cabal" (Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale) who signed the Treaty of Alliance with France in 1670. 234) not long: presumably, they will not long forbear from revealing their identity, but the text may be corrupt; Trim is certainly not threatening Sir Richard's daughters.

Act 2. Scene 1.

[77

Your servants, Ladies, wee'l wait upon you, when you are disengag'd from company— (Exeunt ISABELLA and PHILADELPHIA, CAUTIOUS. Trim you put in seasonably, but you must carry a 240 more severe hand over these wenches. EMPTY. By all means Mr Trim, a more severe hand over these girles. TRIM. I hope by time, and your honours advise I shall be able to manage an affaire— I'le follow them, and improve in them what has bin said— [Aside.] and give thanks for my deliverance. (Exit TRIM. LUCY. Now for us heires again. CAUTIOUS. Ladies, wee ask your pardon— somthing appertaining to your service cal'd us aside; Plots must be 250 crosse-plotted; mines countermin'd: I sow jealousie, and hinder all harvests, and by several wayes I study all humours, and constitutions, the sanguine, the phlegmatique, the bold, the fearfull; the easy, the wilfull, the rash, the sober, the crafty, the foolish, the vaine, the proud, the ponderous, the prodigal, the plain, the dissembler; the true man, and the lyar, and accordingly fit my designs and instruments. LUCY. To what end is all this? CAUTIOUS. To make 'em all need me, and conjure power 260 within my circle. EMPTY. There's policie for you Ladies, on my conscience the best you ever heard. KATE. We admire Sir. EMPTY. Ne'r stirre, you may well enough. ISABELLA.

249-58) Ladies . . . instruments: Howard's joke is that Sir Cautious himself is a "humours" character, a butt in the Jonsonian tradition. 264) admire: wonder, or are surprised by; Empty's response, in the next line, indicates that he takes the word in its modem sense. 265) Ne'r stirre: This expression is used six times in the play, twice by Empty and four times by the fops Vapor and Slander, apparently as a mild expletive. Harold Brooks has suggested that the phrase was earlier a Puritan asseveration or substitute for profanity, citing a verse from Alexander Brome: "Gods nigs and ne'er stir, sir, has vanquished God damn me." Two

78]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Ladies I beg your pardon, I had almost forgot a necessary matter— I hear you were waited on by one Mr Vapor, and one Slaunder— for I have intelligence of evry thing— Ladies, you doe not know 'em. EMPTY. No Ladies, you are ignorant of them. 270 LUCY (aside). They are at their politiques again— CAUTIOUS. Ladies it's true, they are of our acquaintance. EMPTY. Yes we know 'em,— but pish— they are— CAUTIOUS. Ladies, as Sir Gravity was a saying. RATE [aside]. Nothing. CAUTIOUS. They are shadows, mere trifles of men. EMPTY. Yes Ladies, shadows of men, that was it, I was going to have told you; I suppose you know what shadows are. LUCY. Are they such things? CAUTIOUS. They are mere dust stir'd by evry thing, and fowle 280 every thing they light upon. LUCY. But why doe your Honours allow such acquaintance? CAUTIOUS. Why as spyes, and informers. EMPTY. No, no for nothing else Ladies but to bring newes, and intelligence of such things as may possibly come to passe. CAUTIOUS. But Ladies if you please to accept of our loves, and counsels you shall want neither. EMPTY. No Ladies, you shall have 'em both. LUCY (aside). He takes his Cues singularly well— 290 KATE. We must in spight of our blushes acknowlege an obligation to your honours. LUCY. And hence forward shall have a care of our conversation according to your honours directions. CAUTIOUS. Sweet Ladies, we doat on your prudence, as much as your beauties. EMPTY. Every whit Ladies, for as to the point of prudence, we are us'd to it. LUCY. Alas! I fear we are not worthy. CAUTIOUS.

years later, the phrase turns up in Elizabeth Polwhele's comedy The Frolicks, where two characters faced with a tavern reckoning respond as follows: SIR G: I never will be bafled so agen. ZANY: Near stir, if henceforth I do not. . . .

Act 2. Scene J.

[79

Nay I beseech you Ladies wrong not our jugements. EMPTY. Ladies we are judicious, else the world mistakes that esteems us so. KATE. We submit, as in prudence we ought. CAUTIOUS. Ladies our admiration is compleat— at this time wee'l take our leaves, and give you no further trouble, but beg leave to attend you often with our loves and counsels— So your servants Ladies. EMPTY. Aye realy Ladies, your servants truly. (Exeunt ambo. LUCY. Was there ever such things; how true their names are, one troubles all things. ΚΑΊΕ. And the other like his name, as empty as an Eccho. LUCY. That Cautious is as malitious as a hurt titmouse, he snaps at every thing. RATE. As I am a living woman my father will help us to the worst on't. LUCY. For my part, I had rather have an honest fellow, though he cry'd smal coal, and I fain to wash him evry night, before he came to bed. KATE. And good reason, for nothing can wash away their fouines. CAUTIOUS.

300

310

320

Enter TRIM hastily. TRIM. How now my Girles? what! do the fish bite? LUCY. Yes most eagerly, but by my troth Sir I think they are hardly worth the pulling up. TRIM. Pish, hamper 'em I say, and then hold hook and line, and Trim is made for ever. LUCY. Troth Sir we had rather have plain honest men of our own size, honest Tradesmen, or Farmers that could but stuff us up with bacon and pudding. TRIM. No more I say, be obedient, we may be all advanc't, you both made Ladies; and I for ought I know, more than I'le speak of. 309.1) ambo: Latín, "the two."

330

80] LUCY. TRIM.

Enter

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Why father? Why daughter, in to the Ladies, and be rul'd— or— no more— s o — (Exeunt LUCY and KATE. Succesfull Trim hitherto as I may say; ha Trim thou maist live to leave waiting upon lowsy customers all Saturday night, and mowing of bristly beards, that turn razors to handsawes. MRS FINICAL

running.

Where, where, where, Mr Trim? Here, here, here, Mrs Finicall. MRS FINICAL. The Gentlemen I mean, the Ladies are coming. TRIM. And the Gentlemen are gon. MRS FINICAL. Gone. TRIM. Yes, gone. MRS FINICAL. How gone? TRIM. How gone? why upon their legs; troth Mrs Finical I told the Gentlemen, that I thought you could not effect matters. MRS FINICAL. Did you so Mr Trim, you might have spar'd your opinion Mr Trim, and talkt of your own trade— gon— thus. TRIM. Goodnes, goodnes, if you fume so, you will waste into exhalations. MRS FINICAL. Shall I so Snapfinger, pray meddle no more with my matters. TRIM. But be advis'd good Tinder. MRS FINICAL. Advise how to make cheating washbals of nothing but soap and ashes— you advise a person that knowes how— TRIM. To outscold Billingsgate Corporation. MRS FINICAL.

340

TRIM.

Enter

WORTHY.

Sirrah Shaver I'de have you know— How now Landlady? instructing Trim in fury? O Sir take heed, she shoots case-shot; at her next sput-

MRS FINICAL. WORTHY. TRIM.

350

360

Act 2. Scene 1.

[81

tering volley, tis ten to one but she hits you with a brace of teeth like a chain bullet. WORTHY. By this light then she shall mumble pap the remaining part of her welbred days; come clear up this December weather, and dry thy twincklers. MRS FINICAL. Hands off! you rude Countrey Bumkin. WORTHY. That sowre look of thine would turn milk beyond runnet; come wipe— MRS FINICAL. Let me alone or lie thrust my bodkin in your Chops. TRIM. O good Sir, the moon's in Cancer, as an antient Poet observes, and she'l run horn mad. WORTHY. Why what wind blew up this storme? TRIM. Why Sir here were two Gallants. MRS FINICAL. Hold thy tongue thou Varlet, or I'le stop thy mouth with my glove. (Goes to stop his mouth with her glove.) TRIM. Oh, oh help Mr Worthy, oh, oh, she has (Spits.) almost poyson'd me with the ambergrease of her palmes. MRS FINICAL. He lyes basely upon my honor, smell Mr Worthy, they are as sweet as a nut. WORTHY. Away with your stain'd sheepskin, and hear me and mark me; if you continue the trick of scolding, I'le take an old joynt stool, and fix it upon Trim's Pole, and thus compose a cucking stoole for thee, and baptize thee for a scold in kennell water. MRS FINICAL. I was never so uncivilly us'd in all my life, I have liv'd in this street these ten years, and with credit, and regard among my neighbors; and to be thus flowted— (Weeps.) TRIM. She melts. 372) runnet: rennet—anything used to curdle milk. 374) Chops: jaws. 375) moon's in Cancer: the conjunction of the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter in May 1385 bringing the great downpour of rain. See Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, ΙΠ, 624-25: "The bente moon with hire homes pale,/ Saturne, and Jove, in Cancro joyned were." 388) cucking stoole: a chair used as an instrument of punishment; the OED gives an example in 1633: "committed. . .to be duck'd in a Cucking-Stool at Holborn Dike."

370

380

390

82]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

O the showre layes the storme, and I grow gratious; go in poor Landlady, and compose thy totter'd pinner by thy broad brass andiron, for I broke thy fraile lookinglasse set in cedar, the last unhappy night, but He buy thee a better, my poor girle of forty and so all friends; go in— go in and drye those pearly drops.

WORTHY.

400

MRS FINICAL. B u t t o b e s o u s ' d .

No more, no more, looshe, looshe. (Exit FINICAL. Why what the Divell inspir'd this Fury, Trim? TRIM. On my conscience your worship is a very honest Gentleman. WORTHY. Faith Trim as the world goes, I am so, so? TRIM. May I trust your Worship? WORTHY. That thou maist Trim. TRIM. And will you lend your helping hand? WORTHY. If it be honest, Trim. TRIM. Why then Sir the matter is Mrs Finical is ingag'd in assisting Mr Vapor and Mr Slander to help them to Sir Richards daughters. WORTHY. H O W ! by this light I'le go drown the jade in one of her own washing tubs. TRIM. Nay good Sir have patience— These fierce gallants at their first entrance by good fortun met my daughters, and taking them for the young ladies, immediatly made an onset with a volley of oaths. WORTHY. And thou wouldst continue the mistake, and drive it into matrimony. TRIM. No Sir, not to them, for truly I should count my wenches cast away upon 'em; but presently after in came others of more profound purses, Sir Cautious Trouble-all and Sir Gravity Empty, and they fell upon the same mistake (with some small assistance of mine) and courted my daughters with many good words of themselvs, and more ill ones of all others. WORTHY.

3 % ) totter'd: tattered; cf. 1 Henry IV, IV, ii: "totter'd prodigals." 402) looshe: variant of the colloquial expression lush, lusche, lousche, etc. To rush or dash. Delivered here as an imperative, it is equivalent to the modern " s c o o t ! " or " s c r a m ! "

410

420

Act 2. Scene 1.

[83

O, and these should be the parties— enough I have thee to a haire. TRIM. A very pretty conceit Sir considering my trade. WORTHY. Well Trim, most happy notions, and contrivances begin to inspire thee— Thy daughters shall be the heires— and Mrs Finicals Galants shall be disposed of. WORTHY.

Enter

430

LOVETRUTH.

now Worthy are our Lodgings hanted with ribbands? WORTHY. I never heard of walking ribbands. LOVETRUTH. Nay they were born about by a couple of images of men. TRIM. O Sir those were they. 440 LOVETRUTH. I stayr'd upon 'em, heard 'em tell five or six lies to their foot boyes, and came away. WORTHY. Lyes to their foot boys? LOVETRUTH. Why they sent so many howd'yees to several persons, and to every one swore they were her servants before al the world. WORTHY. And art thou disturb'd at such misdemeanors? LOVETRUTH. Why I hate a lye naturally, and am disturb'd at such things, as I am at spiders, and cobwebs, that they are not swept away, and make the nation a litle 450 cleaner. WORTHY. Trim, Lovetruth is an honest fellow, wee'l take him in to help contrive. TRIM. I commit myself wholy to your worship. WORTHY. Lovetruth you must enter into a designe with Trim, and me concerning those fine rascals. LOVETRUTH. Enough, I am ready— but where are the Ladies, Worthy? WORTHY. 'Slife wel remembred, wee'l send Trim to entertain Sir Richard, and try for a look or two. D'hear Trim, 460 find out Sir Richard, and entertain him a litle while with the praises of Queen Elizabeth, or deep mouth'd LOVETRUTH. HOW

435) hanted: haunted.

84]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

hounds or fat lands, while we vent our working thoughts to the Ladies. TRIM. With utmost diligence. (Exit. WORTHY. Now Lovetruth if we could but finish this adventure, and enter these castles of treasure. LOVETRUTH. To see the luck on't, that our first loves should be brought after us, tis a good omen. WORTHY. The coach that brought them was an inchanted vessell directed by Organda the unknown— blesse my eyesight, they come Lovetruth. Enter

ISABELLA

and

470

PHILADELPHIA.

I had a pretty saying in my head, tis gon; how shall we begin after 'Madam'? WORTHY. Follow man, and I will lead the way to the breach; the boldest always enter— Save you Ladies, this is a happines above our merits. ISABELLA. Why truly if you speak as you think, you deserve very litle. LOVETRUTH. But we are willing to merit. PHILADELPHIA. What Gentlemen? WORTHY. Why you faire Ladies. ISABELLA. And what then? WORTHY. Why we would have our desires. ISABELLA. That is us, as you would have us understand. WORTHY. Nay I think you knew that before. ISABELLA. Yes, I think you talkt some fustian stuff to me at my fathers house in the Countrey. PHILADELPHIA. And this Gentleman mumbled over a few prayers to me. LOVETRUTH. And am as devout as ever. PHILADELPHIA. I warrant you have chang'd your religion twenty times since you came to London. ISABELLA. Sinners you are without question. LOVETRUTH.

471) Organda: Urganda la Desconocida, a fairy in the romance Amadis Gaule.

de

480

490

Act 2. Scene 1.

[85

Why forgive us, and take us into Paradise, and prevent our future transgressions. ISABELLA. And when you have us, then— WORTHY. We are happy. ISABELLA. For a moneth. PHILADELPHIA. Or till the first ill humour we show. 500 ISABELLA. Then if we kick the litle dog, we shal be cal'd fro weird. PHILADELPHIA. Or if we laugh, wanton. ISABELLA. A lac't hankerchef will be thought profusenes. PHILADELPHIA. And at last be turn'd to look after the poultry in red morning wastcoats and petticoats. ISABELLA. And our coach horses turn'd to Plow. PHILADELPHIA. And— WORTHY. Hold, hold we desire to be heard a word for the Defendants, we will grant a lease of love with honest 510 and sufficient covenants, which shal not expire till after our deaths. LOVETRUTH. We will never let you be out of humour. WORTHY. For you shal never have so much time out of our arms. LOVETRUTH. We will keep you alwais pleas'd. WORTHY. And be ourselvs as cheerful as larks in glasing mornings. LOVETRUTH. We wil save our Estats, and spend our revenues. WORTHY. And leave posterity an easy example. 520 LOVETRUTH. You shall always be obay'd. WORTHY. And your Commission shall not be taken from you after mariage, but always command in chief. LOVETRUTH. GO abroad when you please. WORTHY. And we ask leave to ride with you in the Coach. ISABELLA. Enough, enough. WORTHY. Nay these are joynt and several answers, we give 'em upon oath, and we hope the court will judge 'em sufficient. LOVETRUTH. Peace man— Sir Richard as I live. 530 WORTHY.

517) glasing: brilliant.

86]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Enter SIR RICHARD P L A I N B R E D , LUCY and KATE, and following at a litle distance scratching his head.

TRIM

How this slave Trim has neglected his duty. Here Girles, here are Mr Trims daughters come to see you, and as fine as both their hands can make 'em. TRIM (aside to W O R T H Y ) . I did what man could doe— WORTHY. Rogue, you should have hung about his legs. SIR RICHARD. And how is't my good neighbors, shal we be merry this ev'ning? h o — Trim call the boys. (Exit TRIM. I want breath in this town, it grows fusty for want of air, ha, neighbor that we might depart to our country peace. WORTHY.

SIR RICHARD.

Enter

BOYS.

Enter

TRIM

and

BOYES

540

with their hats tuckt up.

—Here b o y s — how now with your hats tuckt up? what! jumpt into the fashion before you are an houre old here. Down with 'em I say— O r — 'Slife your friends shall know you when they see you— here carry these notes, this to my counsell Mr Plodwell, and the other to Smithfield about my returns for money, and make hast back. Aye, we will Sir. (Exeunt BOYS. MRS F I N I C A L L .

May it please you Sir Richard, your Atturney waits you without. SIR RICHARD. I go, I go, Gentlemen lie be for you presently. (Exit. WORTHY. N O W the blessing upon my deare Landlady. MRS FINICAL. Hands off, Sir Rudebe in troth I am not so quickly friends. MRS FINICAL.

554) Rudebe: R u d e s b y ; see Twelfth

Night,

IV, i: " R u d e s b y , be gone! "

550

Act 2. Scene 1.

[87

WORTHY. Why so hot? Have you eaten onyon porridge today? I'de have you to know, my breath's as sweet as yours: I swear Ladies I have severe apprehensions that this boystrous Gentleman offends your modesties. ISABELLA. No Landlady he assaults none but yours. 560 MRS FINICAL. But I shall preserve my chastity. WORTHY. From bore cats, and monkies. MRS FINICAL. I have had as good men as thy self present their addresses to me, and I would have thee to know— WORTHY. Trim carry the magpye to her cage, Trim away with her. MRS FINICAL. Let me alone Sirrah, or I'le— TRIM. Nay Mrs Finicall but one word. LOVETRUTH. Trim away with her. MRS FINICAL. I am abus'd thus always Ladies. 570 TRIM. But Mrs Finicall, Mr Vapor and Mr Slaunder have sent word they are coming, and if you should not be in the way, matters may go ill. MRS FINICAL. Uds my life I go, I go, your servant Ladies. [Exit. WORTHY. After her Trim, and dam up the floud, that it overflow here no more. (Exit TRIM. Now Ladies if you please to reply we'l rejoyne. ISABELLA. And what then? WORTHY. Proceed to tryal. ISABELLA. You are too hasty for chancery suits; it is enough 580 we have received your Depositions. Come Mrs Lucy, and Mrs Kate, I swear Mr Trim may be proud of two such pretty daughters. WORTHY. Nay Madam you must needs stand for Esquire Trims daughters a litle while. ISABELLA. The meaning? WORTHY. A designe we have, which you shall know within, as soon as Trim can get from his duty, tis honest, and you may be charitable. MRS FINICAL.

562) bore cats: archaic form of "tomcat."

88]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

When we deny such a thing we are neither. Some pitty leave for us— WORTHY. Unies you doubt us. ISABELLA. Perhaps you ask more, than we have about us. ISABELLA.

LOVETRUTH.

Finis Actus secundi.

590

é Act 3. Scene i

Enter

SIR CAUTIOUS and SIR GRAVITY.

You see now Sir Gravity what advantage it is to be thought men of buisnes; every man will be pretending to it, nay and are angry if they cannot be esteem'd so. EMPTY. Yes men will be angry, but let 'em; I say buisnes must be don by men of buisnes. CAUTIOUS. Right Sir Gravity, but there are but few such; some are conceited and hasty, others wity and uncertain, some grave and ignorant, others formal and Lazie, some violent and shallow, others deep and treacherous, some busy and malitious, others quiet and silly; a sound Polititian Sir Gravity must be better compos'd. CAUTIOUS.

2) men of buisnes: it seems possible that The Rehearsal begins with an overt allusion to this scene. Buckingham uses this phrase three times in the opening lines of his play where it has no function in the initial situation of his burlesque. With this phrase, he includes grave and troubling one another. The Rehearsal probably contains other allusions to The Country Gentleman. In a copy of the 1683 quarto (fourth edition) now in the University of Pennsylvania Library an anonymous annotator has written " S r W ° Couentry S r John Duncomb" opposite a passage at the beginning of Act Π, Scene iv, where the Gentleman Usher and the Physician decide to lay their heads together (p. 18). This passage is not glossed in the 1705 "Key to the Rehearsal."

89

10

90]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

EMPTY. You have spoken admirably Sir Cautious, and a man of buisnes must be well compos'd, very well compos'd as to point of abilities in relation to matters and debates— Enter

TRIM.

CAUTIOUS. O Mr Trim you are punctual, what newes? TRIM. Newes, why your honours are admired sufficiently, the Ladies talk of nothing but the wonderful things of wisedom. 20 CAUTIOUS. That's good. Sir Gravity, I told you what would happen. EMPTY. That you did, Sir Cautious, and I'le take my oath on't I thought as much. TRIM. I will go trye to windlesse 'em this way, when I but hint by the by that your honours are here, they will bee creeping this way. CAUTIOUS. Doe so good Trim, while we peruse some papers, lest any time may be imprudently lost. (Exit TRIM. Sir Gravity I have of late contriv'd a way to debate a 30 matter or a buisnes all alone, and yet by way of Dialogue. EMPTY. How! by Dialogue, and yet alone, Gad that would bee very pretty. CAUTIOUS. Yes Sir Gravity, by Dialogue and yet alone, as thus to intimate in my self; I thus propose a question, and first Sir Cautious he speaks to't, and gives his sense of it, Then Trouble-all answers, and so debate alternative: Then joyning Sir Cautious to Trouble-all, Cautious and Trouble-all summe up the debate and deter- 40 mine the question. 25) windlesse: decoy or ensnare. 31-32) Dialogue: a snide allusion to Dryden's An Essay of Dramatick Poesy, published in May or June of 1668, in which Crites is supposed to represent Sir Robert Howard. This section of Act 3 is the scene "incerted" by the Duke of Buckingham.

Act 3. Scene 1.

[91

EMPTY. Would I may never stir now, it is very pretty, I have it, for though I say it, I am as quick as another, as for example, I propose a thing, you answer it, and thereupon I and you— no Gad that's not right. CAUTIOUS. I have thought of another project Sir Gravity, will settle us in the opinion of the world for ever, as to what wee pretend to, the dispatch of buisnes, for tis that you know we are made for. EMPTY. Ύ g a d , a n d s o w e a r e .

50

It is my main project, and if I am not mistaken will nick 'em all. EMPTY. Y gad, and so it will; what is't? CAUTIOUS. Have you ever seen an oyster Table? EMPTY. Yes I have, there's one I take it. CAUTIOUS. Ud's so I have another at my lodging hard by, I'le send for it, and do it to the life before you— d'heare John? CAUTIOUS.

Enter JOHN. John fetch me my oyster Table at home, be here in a minute. (Exit JOHN. EMPTY. I pray Sir Cautious explain a litle, y gad, I am strangely taken with it, though I don't know what 'tis. CAUTIOUS. You must know Sir Gravity, that upon the modell of an Oyster table, I have plodded out a Table for buisnes. 52) nick 'em all: cf. The Rehearsal, I, ii: "I'll nick 'em"; "nick" is used twice more. 54) oyster Table: used for the consumption of oysters in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Before 1700, the word table (in this sense) meant the table-top only; hence it was not difficult for Sir Cautious's servant John to fetch the "oyster table." It was probably mounted on trestles. Henry Hastings (1551-1650) owned two, one of which was kept in his parlor. In the sale of Sir William Stanhope's furniture in Arlington St. in 1733, there was "a neat red Wood Oyster Table in the Fore Parlour." (Dictionary of English Furniture [London, 1924-27], ΠΙ: 266.) A manuscript published in 1860 mentions a round oyster table, kept in "The Parlor." (OED) 56) Ud's: minced form of "God's." Ud's so, a deformation of catso (from the Italian) is a common expletive in Restoration comedy.

60

92]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

How Sir, a Table for buisnes? y gad that's very pretty. Why Sir thus, to your hole in the midle, which you know is antient, I have added a modern passage into't. EMPTY. Very good y Gad: and what then? CAUTIOUS. This same passage I open and shut at pleasure, 70 now Sir as soon as I am in, I fix my self upon a stool made for the nonce, which turns upon a swivell, and place my papers about me— See here, I have my Spanish papers, here my Dutch papers, here my Italian papers, here my French papers, and so round. Now Sir in a trice dispatch to what part of the world you please, I am ready for you. EMPTY. Admirable good y Gad, and this table may also serve for domestique affaires. CAUTIOUS. No, there shall be two, one for domestique, the 80 other for forreigne; and in the forreigne there is somthing more considerable yet than all this. EMPTY. Very fine; what I pray? CAUTIOUS. Why the thing you know, that we men of buisnes ought to be most currant in, as to affairs abroad, is the position of the several interests of forreign Potentates, how they stand in amitie or animosity toward us, and with one another. EMPTY. Very good. CAUTIOUS. This cost a world of paines and expence by intel90 ligence, and such like; wheras by the modell and directions of my forreigne Table, you have all that intrigue laid before you at one dash. EMPTY. Y gad thats very neat, what modell can this bee? CAUTIOUS. Why Sir the modell is not toedious neither, 'tis only thus: if enemies opposite, one here, t'other there, if friends— close touch— So I never trouble my self with reading newes books or Gazets, but go into my chamber, look upon my Table, and snap— presently Ile tell you how the whole world is dispos'd. 100 EMPTY.

CAUTIOUS.

95) toedious: complicated.

Act 3. Scene 1.

[93

Sookers! what would I have given to have found out this first. Let us discusse this a litle farther; for this thing is new, and therfore give me leave to ask some question: what wood must this Table be made of? CAUTIOUS. Any you please, why do you ask? EMPTY. Nay tis not for any great moment, but only I love to be exact in matters of concern— Shall I tell you a strange thing? If you had not found out this invention just as you did, Gad I dare almost be hang'd, if I had not light upon't myself; it jumps so right with my Genius. 110

EMPTY.

Enter

JOHN

with a Table.

O here it comes, wel don John— withdraw. (Exit JOHN. Come, come to our buisnes, which Table will you have? EMPTY. This. CAUTIOUS. Remember then tis the domestique: here are the domestique papers; you furnish that as I do this— get in— so— Well Sir, this I'le boldly say before we begin: Whoever knowes the use of this Table, forbears the use of wine, rises at six, and goes to dinner precisely at twelve (give me leave for to tell you) is more 120 than amply provided to set up in any part of Christendom for a man of buisnes— So are you ready? EMPTY. Yes, and y Gad tis the notablest thing that ever yet was thought on. CAUTIOUS. Why then for experiment, name me any place abroad. EMPTY. Paris. CAUTIOUS. Here I am, now I name you a place at home— Putney. CAUTIOUS.

101) Sookers: truncated form of "Gadsookers," an expletive which appears seven times, in variant spellings, in The Rehearsal. In IV, i, Buckingham has "Zookers." 110) light: lit.

94]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

EMPTY. Well what must I do now? CAUTIOUS. Why turn about the Whife— as I did. EMPTY. Ο, I cry you mercy, here tis— 'y gad now I begin to understand it; now call to me agen. CAUTIOUS. Well— Kingston. EMPTY. Sooks I cant find it, are you sure tis here? CAUTIOUS. Aye, Aye, look, look. EMPTY. I have it, ver)' fine y gad.

130

CAUTIOUS. NOW call t o m e .

EMPTY. NO, no, call to me once more, that I may be perfect. CAUTIOUS. Well then— Islington. EMPTY. Here I have it at my fingers ends, now I will Lay you an embroyder'd pair of gloves, that I do it as well as you. CAUTIOUS. With all my heart, wee'l name only Towns, and as fast as we can. EMPTY. A match, the faster the better, I'le begin— Venice.

140

CAUTIOUS. P e n d e n n i s .

EMPTY. Roan. CAUTIOUS. M a r y b o n e . EMPTY. T h e Brill.

CAUTIOUS. Harrow oth'Hill. EMPTY. Orleans.

CAUTIOUS. Petty France. EMPTY. Peru. CAUTIOUS. There you are out, tis no Town Cue. EMPTY. Ostend. CAUTIOUS. G r a v e s e n d . 131) Whife: apparently the top of the swivel stool. The OED gives whife as an alternate spelling of wife. According to Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia (1783; 4 vols.), a screw with a concave furrowed surface was " f e m a l e . " If the top of Sir Cautious's swivel stool had a cylindrical cavity which fitted over the base of the stool, Sir Cautious may well have termed it a " W h i f e . " Empty is being told that he must make the stool revolve so that he can reach different sets of papers arranged on the table. 147) Pendennis: a castle in Falmouth, Cornwall. 148) Roan: Rouen. 150) The Brill: an area of London between Euston Road and old St. Paneras Church, later called 'Somers Town.' 153) Petty France: now York St., in Westminster. Putney, Chelsea, and Petty-France are also grouped by Buckingham in The Rehearsal, V, i.

150

Act 3. Scene 1.

[95

EMPTY. T h e V l y . CAUTIOUS. R y e .

Grand Caire Ware. EMPTY. Rome. CAUTIOUS. Combe. EMPTY. Rotterdam. EMPTY.

CAUTIOUS.

CAUTIOUS. C a m . BOTH.

Enter

160

Naples Chelsey Hague Highgate Brussels Bristow Cullen Gilford

SIR RICHARD

and admires.

170

Hold, hold; who is this? Sir Richard, I am confident, get out Sir Gravity. SIR RICHARD. How now, what are these, Juglers? CAUTIOUS. Save you worthy Sir, you may perceive— EMPTY. Your help Sir Cautious, I beseech you. CAUTIOUS. Immediatly Sir Gravity. EMPTY. Sookers! my papers; I have lost a Town or two 'y gad. 180 CAUTIOUS. As I was saying Sir, you may perceive wee are men of buisnes, and contriving a quick method of dispatches; for affaires presse us. EMPTY.

CAUTIOUS.

165 (f.) Cam. Naples . . . At this point Cautious and Empty abandon their match of bouts rimés and screech out names simultaneously, spinning ever faster. 172) Cullen: Cologne. 173) Gilford: Guildford, in Surrey. 173.1) admires: to view with wonder or surprise; cf. Spectator No. 575 (1712): "How can we sufficiently admire the Stupidity or Madness of these Persons? " 176) Juglers: there is apparently some slapstick stage-business here as Empty tries to extricate himself from the hole in the table; see the textual note.

96]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

O, cry you mercy, troth I took you for Conjurers; I ask you pardon for interrupting you— proceed, proceed. CAUTIOUS. Sir we ought first to advise you, that one Vapor and Slaunder— SIR RICHARD. Those are two Sir. CAUTIOUS. But they make up but one ill man; so I salve that 190 objection. EMPTY. I made hast Sir to tell you as much; that objection's clear'd. SIR RICHARD. Tis very well, I intend not to trouble you with another. CAUTIOUS. But Sir, I beseech you one word by way of counselle. EMPTY. Aye sir, as to Counsell. SIR RICHARD. No sir; I need no counsell. CAUTIOUS. But by your favor, as to your own good. 200 EMPTY. Aye sir, your own good; mind that. SIR RICHARD. Why? what a pox, are you rude, or mad? CAUTIOUS. But Sir, as to those persons Vapor and Slaunder— give us leave to warne you— EMPTY. Take warning Sir, as Sir Cautious advises. SIR RICHARD. I am warn'd, and will avoid men of buisnes evermore.

SIR RICHARD.

Enter

TRIM

before

LUCY

and

KATE.

Pray begon lest I be uncivill to your wisedoms. [aside]. How! Sir Richard— now invention, or all is spoil'd. (They whisper with SIR RICHARD and he shakes 'em off.) Sir your daughters desire a word with you, and a man that cals about the return of money. (TRIM whispers to SIR RICHARD.) RICHARD. I go, I go Trim.

TRIM

SIR

190) salve: a solution of a difficulty. Although the OED cites two examples from 1651 in this sense, the scribe may have miscopied solve.

210

Act 3. Scene 1.

[97

But Sir, to prove what we have said to you, favour us a word— We perceive these are your daughters. SIR RICHARD. D'yee so Sir?— [Aside.] alas poor Gentlemen! I see they are mad now. EMPTY. But in cases of these natures, when matter of fact offers it self, upon the exorbitancy of the occasion— SIR RICHARD. Good exorbitant Sir, your friends are to blame, 220 they put you not into a dark roome. CAUTIOUS. Why Sir? SIR RICHARD. And yours too to blame indeed. (Exit. (TRIM goes to follow him and steps back.) CAUTIOUS. This is the strangest thing. EMPTY. A countrey Gentleman ignorant of Politiques, he's no man of buisnes. TRIM. Your honours had like to have spoyl'd all; win the Ladies first; he's a testy old man; make all sure, I'le give the Ladies a whisper too, shal frighten them from venturing to delay their preferment. 230 CAUTIOUS. Honest Trim, and thou shalt find thy preferment; I will not name the place now. EMPTY. No, leave that to us. TRIM. Your honours creature— (Makes mouths at 'em and goes to his daughters.) I see these may be made Chaldeans— (To them aside.) Dispatch, wind up matters for fear we are discovered, you are made for ever— your servant Ladies— Charge 'em, they are your own. (Exit TRIM. CAUTIOUS. Ladies, you have seen that we have love, and I suppose you know that we are in buisnes. Love must 240 be obay'd, buisnes must be dispatcht. You command our affections; The Nation our service; Love contends with buisnes; and buisnes disputes with Love. One's CAUTIOUS.

219) exorbitancy: an aberration; cf. Milton, Eikon (1649): "That planetary motion, that . . . exorbitancy." 239-40) love . . . buisnes: a sarcastic reference to the Love and Honour conflicts suffered by characters in the rhymed heroic drama popular at this time, later to be the object of Buckingham's satire in The Rehearsal.

98]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

private, t'other publique; Ones natural, the other prudential; Therfore summing up all, we move you to unite the private and publique concerns, lest one impede the other. L U C Y . Alas Sir we should be unhappy to prejudice the Publique. E M P T Y . Nay Ladies, you were very unhappy, should you doe 250 so; there Sir Cautious I think I nickt her. RATE. But Sir? CAUTIOUS. But what, Ladies? I know what you would say, for prudence may conjecture. E M P T Y . Nay Ladies, prudence will conjecture. KATE. What Sir? E M P T Y . As Sir Cautious was saying concerning what you wou'd say, and as your saying concerning what I would say. CAUTIOUS. Why Ladies, as Sir Gravity intimates, I was a 260 saying that you might object these particulars. E M P T Y . Nay Ladies, you shall hear all you can say, I warrant you. L U C Y . Why truly Sir, it may save our blushes. CAUTIOUS. Why Ladies you may say men are not to be trusted, you scarce know us, tis too soon, your fathers consent, what time, what place, who shall marry you. E M P T Y . This is all that can be objected, give me leave to tell you Ladies. CAUTIOUS. TO these I answer, we are men of buisnes, and 270 may be trusted; the nation knowes us, if you don't; Never too soon to do wisely, your father's testy, the time now, the place Coventgarden Church; and Mr Trim fetch the Parson. E M P T Y . Look you there Ladies; what's to be don, I would fain know. L U C Y . Alas we can say but litle; we are plainly bred. KATE. But we are fearfull. CAUTIOUS. Of what, Ladies? of disposing your selvs wisely? why though your father be apt to be out of humour, 280 yet he will be well enough pleas'd, when he sees his

Act 3. Scene 1.

[99

interest increast, respected in the Town and fear'd in the Countrey. EMPTY. Ladies, there's no more to be sought for, than fear and respect. LUCY. Alas; we know not what to say; what shall we doe sister? KATE. Nay Sister, you are the eldest. LUCY. Truly Sister, I think these are honorable persons. RATE. Nay, and wise ones without question. LUCY. Sure then we ought to be directed by their sage counsell. CAUTIOUS. Ladies, your prudent debates make us admire you more, and more. EMPTY. Truly Sir Cautious, as you say, their debate does make us admire 'em. CAUTIOUS. Well Ladies, we dare promise you, that the whole nation shall judge you happy. EMPTY. Aye Madam, every man, woman, and child I warrant you. KATE. Well at this time tis not discreet for your honours to stay longer for fear of suspition— Mr Trim will continue further opportunity. Enter

290

300

SLAUNDER.

I see strangers Sister, lets begon— We trust your honours. (Exeunt Ladies. CAUTIOUS. You may safely deare Ladies. EMPTY. The most discreet Ladies that I have known. CAUTIOUS. What does Slaunder here? we must be wise Sir Gravity. EMPTY. By all means wise, Sir Cautious. 310 SLANDER. Sir Cautious Trouble-all, and Sir Gravity Empty, no person is more yours than Tom Slaunder; nor is possest with a greater admiration of your parts and eloquence; ne'r stir Sir, tis an harmonious pleasure to heare you speak to a buisnes.

100]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Your servant Mr Slaunder— but what buisnes brings you hither— what! the rich heiresses? SLANDER. O you railly Sir, you know my temper too well to look after honest women— but as I take it, some Ladies went from your honors. 320 CAUTIOUS. Women Mr Slander, we understand not what you meane. EMPTY. No, upon our honours we are so far from understanding you, that really we are wholy ignorant. CAUTIOUS. Your servant Mr Slaunder— you are only fit to approach Ladies; we are dull men of buisnes, your servant Mr Slaunder. EMPTY. No Sir we are not fit for love matters, your servant— (Exeunt. SLANDER. Your honours most obedient servant— umh— there is somthing in the wind— these Politicians had 330 such odd countenances; one piece of their faces spoke gravity, and the other at the same time a ridiculous gayetie: They are grave, formed, false fellowes, they will promise one thing to five people and forsweare it to six more. CAUTIOUS.

Enter

VAPOR.

We may fitt 'em; what a Divell made you stay so long? Why, I was dun'd by the way by a company of impertinent Tradesmen: they were so thick, that twas a good while before I could break battalion, and made such dam'd dull harangues, that the slaves ought to 340 lose their debts in equitie. One had a wife that was in the straw, and was willing the poor foole should have tendance, another had a child to christen, and was desirous the litle ape should be made a Christian: another was to pay that day for some commodities, or his credit was crackt. At last (for between you and I, Tom I had warm'd my soule with a glasse of wine) I briskly

VAPOR.

341-42) in the straw: in childbed. 343) tendance: aphetic form of attendance; "toucht by her fair tendance."

cf. Milton, Paradise Lost, VIII, 47:

Act 3. Scene 1.

[101

cry'd pox of your wifes, and children, and credits; so the slaves shook with the thundring of my brow shrunk into absence. 350 SLANDER. Your expressions swell Jack. VAPOR. From wine my fancy borrows feathers, and mounts above comon gazing. SLANDER. But heark you Jack, here was Sir Cautious Troubleall and Sir Gravity Empty; And I saw women goe from 'em. VAPOR. Hang 'em, dull porers in scribled papers. SLANDER. Why Jack, thou despisest all things now. VAPOR. Pish we are fool'd by grave looks, and dull historie; There's your Alexander, and your Caesar; that same 360 Alexander never durst fight, but when he was drunk: and that same Caesar won a chance battell at— I have forgot the name of the place; but that's all one, and I can demonstrate, that I could have beaten him that day, to a ratcatcher, if I had commanded t'other army: for that Pompey was a pitifull fellow. The Romans were a company of huffing coxcombs, and observe one thing Tom, you never heard of one of 'em, that ever fought a duell, a company of crowd-fighting fellowes, but— SLANDER. But Jack, you forget the buisnes— what say you 370 about the grave Knights? VAPOR. Why, I say if I had met 'em I'de have bestow'd kicks o'th' arse apeece upon 'em. Enter

MRS FINICAL.

O Madam your faithfull servant. No complements now Galants, but quickly, quickly, quickly to a room that I'le shew you where you shall not misse the Ladies. VAPOR. We obay you, Mam. (Exeunt. MRS FINICAL.

378) Mam: Ma'am. The first example in the OED is from Act ΠΙ, Scene i, of Dryden's An Evening's Love, performed in 1668 but not printed until 1671. The passage clearly shows that Dryden is introducing a new word into the language.

102] Enter

THE COUNTRY TRIM

GENTLEMAN

peeping.

Lord what a fine movement they have; O how charming's their behaviour, blesse me, blesse me, Goodnes. T R I M . D'heare neighbor, who are those? MRS F I N I C A L . Good Mr Trim, what need you be so inquisitive? T R I M . What! are you the privat Lady? MRS F I N I C A L . No matter whether I am, or no. (Exit. T R I M . Tis so; they are my fine Gallants, besides I know 'em by their su saw manner of going— they have rich women, and honest women to wast their fames and fortunes. MRS F I N I C A L .

Enter

380

390

W O R T H Y , LOVETRUTH, ISABELLA, PHILADELPHIA,

LUCY and

KATE.

Gentlemen a discovery. Of what Trim? TRIM. Of the enemy Vapor and Slander, who are lodg'd in ambush by our Landlady Bawd Finicall, and as soon as these Ladies are discover'd, they will certainly be attaqued. W O R T H Y . 'Slife Ladies let Mr Trims daughters stand forward, and when they appear, wee'll confirm their coxcombships in their mistake, by paying reverence to the supposed heires. TRIM. Ladies you are beholding to Lucy, and Kate, they stand between you, and trouble. W O R T H Y . Thus then advance yourselvs; and we thus to our postures. I S A B E L L A . And thus wee'l begin to practise our humiliation, your Ladyships most humble servant. P H I L A D E L P H I A . Your servant Mam. WORTHY.

Enter

FINICALL

peeping.

400

Act 3. Scene 1.

[103

By my life they are here, I'le send 'em such as shall dazle 'em yfaith. (Runs out. WORTHY. How now, that was Scout-Mistress generali Finical; the enemy will immediatly have intelligence. TRIM. Let me counterspie— (Peeps out and runs in.) To arms, to arms, be in readines, the enemy approaches with flying colors all about their clothes— I'le retire for a reserve. (Exit. WORTHY. Thus we bow to our feign'd altars. LOVETRUTH. Peace, peace they come. MRS FINICAL.

Enter

VAPOR

and

410

SLAUNDER.

(to LUCY). Divine Ladies, your most humble servants. (to KATE). Madam I am the faithfull adorer of your virtues. VAPOR. What are these Gentlemen? LUCY. Some— VAPOR. What pretenders?— Gentlemen, we serve these Ladies. SLANDER. And we admit no rivals. WORTHY. Nay Gentlemen be not angry; rather than make a quarrell, or a clutter wee'l retire to Mr Trims daughters. LOVETRUTH. We hope you will be pleas'd to admit of our addresses to them. VAPOR. Yes, go say dull things to 'em, fustian speeches stol'n out of the schoole of Complements— but really Ladies I am extremly surpriz'd, that you could indure such unbred conversation. LUCY. Why Gentlemen would you not have us civili? SLANDER. Madam tis a mistaken civility to endure wrong things; as ill company, ill smels, ill meat, and ill drink. KATE. But when we have no daintyes, coarse meat must be endur'd. VAPOR

SLANDER

432) schoole of Complements: The Academy of Complements (1639), often reprinted, which made "genteel" French conversation available for use by affected English snobs.

420

430

104]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

We therfore Madam present you with the feasts of 440 our passions; we understand how to nourish pure flames, which cannot burn, but where the fuell is a sublim'd resentment. LUCY. Indeed S i r — SLANDER. Tis that Lady perhaps, has warm'd the hearts of many of your sex; really you can hardly imagine how many persons of quality are now in languishing condition— realy I could find in my heart to discover a person, that— KATE. What Sir? 450 SLANDER. Why Lady a person of quality, that is now dying for that rogue Jack there— and some others, that begin to fall away— ha Jack, do you blush rogue? VAPOR. Nay prithee Tom hold thy tongue, fy, fy— no such thing Ladies, if you discover any more Tom, realy I shal be even with thee; and discover the invitations, and treats, that I have to bring you to certain places, and certain persons, that shall be ñámeles, 'y gad you had best begin Tom. SLANDER. Nay, nay quarter Jack, fye, fye. 460 LOVETRUTH (aside). How I kindle at these lyes— WORTHY. Sweet Ladies, wee'l only step out, and give 'em kicks apeece— they'll take no notice of it. ISABELLA. Be quiet, or— PHILADELPHIA. I have much adoe to hold my bulldog too. VAPOR. Well, well honest Tom no more impeachments— faith Madam we confess this makes us laugh somtimes to see the beaus eus that the Ladies cast upon us, and if they can but fasten any discourse upon us they fall presently upon hermitages, and willow-garlands, and 470 shades, and groves, and Elysian fields, and treading forsaken paths with folded arms. SLANDER. And then Madam, what d'yee think we doe?

VAPOR.

443) resentment: feeling or emotion, a meaning which is now obsolete but common between 1650 and 1700, and without any pejorative connotation. An OED example from 1658 is "ravishing refreshing resentments." 468) beaus eus: French beaux yeux.

Act 3. Scene 1.

[105

What? Pray Sir? Why go presently, and laugh at 'em for persons ridicule. LOVETRUTH. Whats that? Aside. WORTHY. Why the rogues talk of the Divell. LUCY. You are cruel to our sex. RATE. Nay, and abuse 'em too. 480 VAPOR. No, no Mam, a litle mirth for diversion. LUCY. Tis wonder none of their friends, or relations don't make it a quarrell. VAPOR. HOW a quarrell— they know us too well. SLANDER. They know, if they but look awry, they must fight. VAPOR. We count a duell without fooling a good mornings exercise. WORTHY (aside). Damb'd Rogues. SLANDER. We had as lieve fight a duell, as fence, the exercise is the same to us. 490 VAPOR. Do you remember Tom the last duell we fought, what I told thee, when I was going to draw my sword? SLANDER. Very well Jack. LUCY. Pray what was it Sii ? SLANDER. Nay realy Madam let the rogue tell you himself, if he please. VAPOR. Why since your Ladyship is pleas'd to command me, Ile confesse a fault— why I swear I was so pleas'd, when I was going to engage, that the Dev'l take me, but I had a mind to a wench. 500 SLANDER. YOU may think now that Jack Vapor does not tell true; but to convince you, I swear wee were both in such an extasie, when the sea-fight began against the Turk. KATE. O me, the noise should rather have terrify'd you. KATE.

SLANDER.

475-76) ridicule: our italics, to indicate the ostentatiously French word. 503-4) Turk: Algier and Tangier pirates (loosely termed "Turks" in this period) had been making trouble. In October 1668, a fleet under Sir Thomas Allin had made a successful "show of force" in a minor fleet action. Continued depredations kept the subject topical through 1669 (W. L. Clowes, et al., The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present [London, 1898], Π: 437).

106]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Blesse me, the great guns are terrible things. (aside). The wenches perform rarely. V A P O R . Noise Madam, why the noise was no more to us, than the crackling of bay leafs in the fire; and yet the bullets flew so thick, that I tost up my hat for an experiment, and really it was carry'd away into another ship. LUCY. Methinks Sir another bullet should have bin so civil, as to have brought you another hat back in its place. S L A N D E R . You are witty Lady— but really to shew you that Jack Vapor tells you nothing but Truth, as I was combing my periwig (for I was careles of the impertinent bullets) one took my combe out of my hand. R A T E . And broke the teeth, I am confident. S L A N D E R . Why Madam for all that, the bullets were the least LUCY.

WORTHY

510

of danger, for realy we were so near, that at the same 520 time, the fire of the guns burnt my haire, which then lay in curls upon my shoulders; and ever since I was forc't to weare a periwig. R A T E . I thought Sir, you had said, that it then burnt your periwig. S L A N D E R . Your pardon Madam, I mistook, and but a litle; for twas Jack Vapors periwig; and he stood so near me, that twas in a manner the same thing. L U C Y . It seems, it was a periwig. V A P O R . Yes Madam, it was, and burnt to nothing; but it was 530 no wonder; for at the same time, I went to settle my Cravat, and really I pul'd away a handfull of ashes. L U C Y . Now Kate they lye warmly to one another. R A T E . What are they contriving now? Sure flSIje they are not so immodest, as to hope to invent greater lyes. W O R T H Y . If you please Ladies, One, but one kick. I S A B E L L A . Peace. V A P O R . YOU see Ladies we are here yet; and really it seems, as if by miracle we were preserv'd for you. 540 L U C Y . But can such brave men fam'd for duells, and battels love such plain countrey things, as we are?

Act 3. Scene Í.

[107

What say you to those Gentlewomen, Mr Trims daughters, with their advantages of city breeding? ISABELLA (aside). Admirable wenches. LUCY. If it were not for our estats you would swear more oaths to them. VAPOR. Those. SLANDER. Who? those? PHILADELPHIA. Now, have at us. RATE.

VAPOR and

550

SLANDER. H a , h a , h a —

Those? what, those pusses, with complexions like the sea-coal they sit over. SLANDER. Which mixt with their painting gives 'em a murray cheeke. VAPOR. Alas Ladies, Tom and I are no strangers to 'em, and to shew you your error; their father is our Barber, and those wenches us'd to light us down stairs. VAPOR.

Enter

FINICAL,

SLANDER. VAPOR.

[Enter

and sees them courting.

Dear Lady—

We dye without your pity most divine Ladies.

560

TRIM.]

How! Finical! then all will out. MRS FINICAL. Wha, wha, what! doe you court them? TRIM. Hold your tongue, or I'le stop up your bunghole. (Stops her mouth.)

TRIM.

MRS FINICAL. You are m i s t a = k e n = m i s = taken, taken, taken,

let me alone, they are— Peace, blatant Beast. VAPOR. Now, now Sir let her alone. ISABELLA. Stand still; never such sport. MRS FINICAL. Stinking, scurvy, impudent Jackanapes, I had a tooth that was in some measure loose, and o' my conscience— the raskall has thrust it down my throat. TRIM.

554) murray: a purple-red or blood color. 566) blatant Beast: Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V, 12: 37.

570

108]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

But what's the matter Mistress? why mistaken? Nay tis gon down, and let it e'en go, and gnaw its way out; I care not if I were dead. VAPOR. But what's the matter? MRS FINICAL. You are bewitch'd, abus'd, betray'd, cheated, fool'd, fub'd, cozen'd by that rogue, cheat, pimp, washball, cittern-fac'd slave. VAPOR. But how? what do they all laugh at so? (All laugh.) MRS FINICAL. Laugh at; they may laugh well enough, you 580 have made love all this while to the shavers bastards— the others are the heirs: Ο, Ο, Ο, I shall run mad. [Exeunt FINICAL and TRIM, WORTHY. She roars statelely. (All laugh.) SLANDER.

MRS FINICAL.

VAPOR. T o m .

Jack. We are undon. SLANDER. I dare no more look behind me, than a pursued Cutpurse. VAPOR. What's to be don Tom? I do not use to be out of countenance, when I have got a cup in my pate. WORTHY. The counsell is disorder'd. ISABELLA. No doubt the debate is weighty. SLANDER. To be now forsaken of impudence, when tis so needfull. LUCY. Ladies, tis time to relieve us. ISABELLA. Come Phil, wee'l advance— (To WORTHY and LOVETRUTH.) Nay, nay you must continue upon duty. PHILADELPHIA. Or you shall be disbanded, if you mutiny. ISABELLA. Save you noble Galants, why so confus'd? mistake's no robbery. PHILADELPHIA. Ignorance excuses great offences. VAPOR (aside). Tom, all's well, they are smitten for all this, lets be confident. SLANDER.

VAPOR.

582.1) S.D.: Presumably Mrs Finical leaves the stage at the end of her speech, with Trim following her, though no stage direction appears in the MS.

590

600

Act 3. Scene 1.

[109

Why faith Madam we love divertisments, we comply'd with your designe.

SLANDER.

ISABELLA. H O W ?

Why Ladies I warrant, you think we were mistaken; confesse now— did you not think that we had mistook you? ha, ha,'•ha. Were you so deceiv'd? now faith speak, ha, ha.

VAPOR.

610

ISABELLA. H e y d a y .

Now for some back-hand lyes. VAPOR. Why Ladies then— 'Slife Tom, what shall we say? thou wert wont to be witty. SLANDER. Why swear twas— VAPOR. Ladies, I swear twas— what Tom? SLANDER. Why that— 'Slife, I know not what. ISABELLA. The Galants are in labour. PHILADELPHIA. And will be deliver'd of lusty lyes, and all twins. WORTHY. May we march now? ISABELLA. Not A foot. LOVETRUTH. Wou'd I were in the Stocks, to excuse my patience. PHILADELPHIA. Your love will not doe it, it seems. VAPOR. Why Tom let us swear it was to trye—to try— SLANDER. Their humours Jack. VAPOR. Gramercy Tom— well Ladies I warrant you have bin ghessing; faith we gave you a litle time: but since you cannot, we'l tell you, ne'r stir, we did it to trye your humors, Tom and I laid the designe. SLANDER. Aye really Ladies twas our device, we beg your pardon for our seeming rudenes, but we doat upon good humor. LUCY. Now they lie backward. VAPOR. Troth Ladies you ought to pardon us, mariage is a knot for ever; and it ought to be tyed with circumspection. PHILADELPHIA. Why pray Gentlemen whom are you to marry? ISABELLA. Let us see the Ladies, and give our opinions. VAPOR (aside). Tom, the poor Souls are jealous— PHILADELPHIA.

620

630

640

110]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Why dear Ladies, we'l wait upon you to your lookingglasses, and there you shall looke, and see their divine images. SLANDER. The Saints, we pray to. I S A B E L L A . Nay, no hand upon't. P H I L A D E L P H I A . Tis not so near a bargain. W O R T H Y . Lovetruth, we will advance, though we are disbanded. 650 LUCY (aside). Kate, how pale our Galants look. W O R T H Y . Stand off, fine gay nothings— I take it, you gave us leave to court these Ladies. LOVETRUTH. Nor did we abuse your goodnes, we told 'em all truth. I S A B E L L A . We are apt to think so. P H I L A D E L P H I A . Nay we'l be depos'd on't, to the best of our knowlege. V A P O R . What might the famous truths you told be? W O R T H Y . One was, that you were raskals. 660 I S A B E L L A . Yes, that was one, we'l be just. LOVETRUTH. The other was, that you durst not fight. P H I L A D E L P H I A . Twas so, I remember very well; nay we'l be just to you. V A P O R . Poor fellows you are dead men for this. P H I L A D E L P H I A . Then ring their knells, ding, dong, bell. SLANDER (as in secret). You'l give us satisfaction. V A P O R . We'l have it Sir; yes we will. W O R T H Y . O sir, you are he, that with a glasse in your pate fancy yourself Hector, and once an hour defend Troy 670 ten years at a time. LOVETRUTH. And you Sir suck toads, and spiders, and with your poysonous breath talk of honest men, and women. VAPOR. Ladies, we laugh at these fellows; when we have the honor to catch 'em out of your sight, no more but so. W O R T H Y . Why 'twill be no more but so; Such moths, as you are, should be stifled, that eat as fast into the fame of honest and brave minds, as the others into a cloth bed. VAPOR (whispers). Tom. 680

Act 3. Scene 1.

[Ill

Enough. Gentlemen a word. PHILADELPHIA. A quarrel on my life; I am afraid Sister. ISABELLA. Pish Phil, lets never love such men, that will feare such butterflies can hurt. LOVETRUTH (aside). Be punctual, and doe not fool us. VAPOR. We'l be there before you. WORTHY. Shall I bring a cudgell, for feare you should be squeamish at a sword? VAPOR. By this hand, which I kisse in fury, we'l be reveng'd. SLANDER. And speedily. LOVETRUTH. Nay if you be so furious, shall we bring a wench to entertain you before you begin? VAPOR. Tis well— come Tom— follow us if you dare. SLANDER.

VAPOR.

Enter

SIR RICHARD

690

and meets 'em.

How now, what are you? Persons Sir, that have a value for your daughters. SLANDER. We should be proud Sir. SIR RICHARD. Y'are proud enough of £»11 conscience— depart good, fine, perfum'd Gentlemen; They are too plaine for such holyday outsides. SIR RICHARD.

VAPOR.

VAPOR. A y e b u t S i r .

700

SIR RICHARD. N o ' b u t S i r . '

Be pleas'd Sir. I am not pleas'd, nor will not be pleas'd, without you'l be pleas'd Sir. VAPOR. We shall be happy. SIR RICHARD. So shall I sir, if you'l begon Sir. SLANDER. This strange rudenes— VAPOR. Well Sir at this time some affaires call for us. You remember Gentlemen— WORTHY. Trust our memories Sir, for we have but litle wit. (Exeunt VAPOR and SLANDER, SIR RICHARD. Why, how now Daughters, are these your suitors? ISABELLA. In a manner Sir. SLANDER.

SIR

RICHARD.

710

112]

THE COUNTRY

SIR RICHARD.

GENTLEMAN

Pray be plain forsooth. There was but a litle mistake betwixt us and

PHILADELPHIA.

home.

Heyday, what ridle is this? Why Sir, your daughters, by honest Mr Trim being inform'd of the approach of these two glorious suitors, for fear of their being dazled, interpos'd Mr Trims fair daughters between them, and their brightnes, and they have bin courted, and courted with such flames and such devotions, as was fit for such rich heires. SIR RICHARD. Is this truth? LOVETRUTH. Yes, and the plain truth. SIR RICHARD. Ha my Girles, my own Girles, my own honest true countrey Girles, come hither and hug me, hug me agen: have you handled your puppets so neatly? WORTHY. The story Sir is worth hearing. SIR RICHARD. And we'l have it at my chamber over a bottle.

SIR RICHARD. WORTHY.

Enter

720

730

TRIM.

Ha Trim, my honest Trim, I bound thee Trim and I found thee fast Trim. T R I M . What's the matter now? SIR RICHARD. Come along with me Trim, fetch out some sparkling canary and some smiling ale: we'l drink the girles, the victorious girles health; come Gentlemen, we'l be merry Trim, and drink thy girles health too; they are the rich heirs Trim, ha ha ha. T R I M . Now I find it. [Exeunt SIR RICHARD and T R I M , WORTHY. SO there's your fine suitors condem'd— but whats our sentence? ISABELLA. Ask our father. WORTHY. But if he should deny us. PHILADELPHIA. What should we doe then? 740.1) S.D.: From Isabella's statement two lines later, we know that Sir Richard must have left the stage, so we have provided an exit for him here.

740

Act 3. Scene 1.

[113

Why, you may chuse whether it shall be put to the venture, or no. WORTHY. Now I think on't Lovetruth we'l ask no more questions, than needs must. ISABELLA. You are afraid you shall be denyed. WORTHY. And you two may b e — but I have another more sober reason, why we will not ask him. ISABELLA. That I would know, give eare sister. WORTHY. Why if the old Gentleman should cry 'No' these two fine raskals had not courage enough to cut our throats. LOVETRUTH. And then shall not we tell how to dye hansomly. ISABELLA. Umh, that was a bug's word; d'heare Gentlemen; tis well remembred: you shan't fight. PHILADELPHIA. Not a passe; we shall be in the news books. WORTHY. Why then we wont ask your father. ISABELLA. Choose. LOVETRUTH. YOU might tell us, if you wou'd. PHILADELPHIA. Come Sister, our father will misse us. ISABELLA. Come Mrs Lucy and Kate, we ask your pardon for the trouble you have received. LUCY. We rather thank your Ladyships for our share in the sport. WORTHY. And shall we part thus? LOVETRUTH. But one kind word. WORTHY. Or a speaking look. ISABELLA. Nay, if you are so reasonable, have at you, come Sister, lets give 'em looks apeece. (They look at 'em.) WORTHY. Umh, so it goes through and through; Lovetruth prithee look behind me, and see where the look comes out. LOVETRUTH. No man, tis but got to thy heart yet— and now— PHILADELPHIA. Nay, if you encroach. WORTHY. Nay sweet Gentlewomen lend us but these hands a li tie— dear worthy Ladies. LOVETRUTH.

757) bug's: an imaginary monster, to frighten children; " b u g a b o o " in American English; cf. 3 Henry VI, V, ii: "Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all."

750

760

770

780

114]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Best of women. Fy, fy you spoyle our by loves. W O R T H Y . Upon these premises we'l kisse for ever, and signe, and seal, and seale till you deliver. (Kisse their hands at each word.) LOVETRUTH. ISABELLA.

Finis Actus Tertius.

782) by loves: A pun, or a scribal error for " b y laws": discourse among this group is heavily marked by legal terminology.

é Act 4. Scene ι

ISABELLA, PHILADELPHIA.

Thou lov'st revenge Phil? I were no woman else. ISABELLA. They are not worth it. PHILADELPHIA. As much to say, a man may be so bad, that he's not worth the hanging. ISABELLA. Nay, the raskals are bad enough. PHILADELPHIA. But yet we have not us'd 'em bad enough; there's my trouble. ISABELLA. Lets but resolve we will use 'em scurvily; and trust to a womans wit to help us, that never fails at a mischievous designe. PHILADELPHIA. To be rayl'd at by such slaves; such belyars of themselvs and all others. ISABELLA. Rogues, that prostrate all women to their imaginations. PHILADELPHIA. Slaves, that can't counterfeit honest men. ISABELLA. And yet tractable apes of the worst sort of men. ISABELLA.

PHILADELPHIA.

0.1) S.D.: A discovery scene; a flat is drawn to "discover" Isabella and Philadelphia in their room.

115

116] Enter

THE COUNTRY LUCY

and

GENTLEMAN

KATE.

O my rich heirs, how fare you? Well Ladies, we were ever true friends. PHILADELPHIA. By my life our noble seconds, who thrust your smal vessels between us and the fireships most kindly: would we could do you as good a turn. KATE. Alas, my father designs to bury us alive. ISABELLA. Forefend Wench! LUCY. He had as good, as marry us to two such grave fellows: we must never smile agen. KATE. If we do, we must steal a laugh, as carefully as a shrewd turne. ISABELLA. Come, come 'twil doe well enough: they'l cheat others, and you may cousen them. LUCY.

Enter

20

30

TRIM.

My best Ladies, be pleas'd to retire: my grave Knights are ready to approach; and Lucy and Kate must once more be the rich heyresses. ISABELLA. Nay Mr Trim we'l stay, and see some sport, and behave ourselvs as formerly before the other coxcombs. TRIM. Nay good Ladies by no means: Trims hopes lye at stake; it may not passe so well upon the grace. ISABELLA. Nay, prithee Trim lets see their formal wisdoms play their tricks too. PHILADELPHIA. Good Trim let us; 'twil be excelent diversion, and full of variety to see apes dance first, and Elephants caper after. TRIM. Nay Ladies, as ever you'l do good to Trim, retire. LUCY. Troth Ladies, you ought to stay, and stand for us now.

TRIM.

Enter

FINICALL.

24) Forefend: (Heaven) forbid, prevent, avert. 38) grace: The text may be corrupt here. 'Grave'—i.e., the grave knights, may be meant, since it would appear that Trim is warning Sir Richard's daughters that their conduct might not deceive Cautious and Empty.

40

Act 4. Scene 1.

[117

Are you there, you treacherous Varlet? We shall see some sport yet. TRIM. Why what's the matter my sweet Walloon, bordering upon a Frenchify'd Lady? MRS FINICAL. Sirrah look to't; I may chance spoyle your de- 50 signs, or intrigues to speak more intelligibly. TRIM. How's that? MRS FINICAL. Yes sirrah, lie shave you yfaith. TRIM (aside). Ladies, I am undon if you do not stick to me. MRS FINICAL. Your grave Gentlemen are attending: I'le do your buisnes treacherous snapfinger. TRIM (aside). Ladies, own me for a friend to the Gallants, or I am ruin'd. ISABELLA. Nay, and more too— but for our own designs. MRS FINICAL. Playing double Jackanapes? 60 TRIM. Why Mrs Finicall, now your choler is a li tie vented, hearken to your mistake: I was dealing with these Ladies for your friends, and more than that— heare me. (Whispers.) MRS FINICAL. How shall I believe thee? thou art as slippery, as one of thy washbals. TRIM. Nay, let the Ladies speak for my part, if I am thus rewarded for my honest care— ISABELLA. Mrs Finical you may believe him, he hath bin assiduary in the service of Mr Vapor, and Mr Slander, and not unsuccesfully neither; I blush to say so; but in an 70 honest mans vindication tis no shame. MRS FINICAL. Your Ladyship overjoyes me I swear; I dare say it with much assurance they are the sweetest, finest, jentiest Bo-garsons that do illustrât this age. ISABELLA. Well Mrs Finicall, since you know so much, I shall not scruple to tell you, you may find 'em out, if you please, and if you say we are not unwilling to see 'em, you shal not be chid. MRS FINICAL. ISABELLA.

68-69) assiduary: assiduously; not recorded in the OED. 74) jentiest: possibly an attempt at Fr. gentil est; the speaker's mind is running on French manners, as indicated by the next phrase, beaux garçons.

118]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

I fly sweet Ladies; Mr Trim I ask your pardon for this grand mistake. (Exit. 80 TRIM. The grand pox take thee: Ladies may never wish of yours grow cold before tis fulfil'd. D'yee hear Girles? (Whispers to his daughters.) PHILADELPHIA. What did you mean Sister, to invite these raskals? ISABELLA. Alas! the quarrell came just then into my head, and I employ'd her b u = s i = n e s to try to stop some of 'em. PHILADELPHIA. O me, I understand you. ISABELLA. Mr Trim, did you see Mr Worthy and Mr Lovetruth? 90 TRIM. They are gon forth Madam. ISABELLA. How Phil! what shall we do? gon to fight as sure as we live. PHILADELPHIA. If those Rogues should dare fight! ISABELLA. Lets send after 'em. PHILADELPHIA. But how, if we can't find 'em? ISABELLA. Then we'l go cry by ourselvs. (Exeunt. TRIM. They are gon in some disorder. L U C Y . You may guesse the Gentlemen. TRIM. Nay if that be all, good fortun and a Priest send 'em to 100 a proper place. Now Girles be witty, and knit up matters, appoint time and place, and me to provide the Priest; take right aym, whilst I fetch the markes. (Exit. L U C Y . Since it must be so Kate, who can help it? KATE. Did ever we think to turn honorable? L U C Y . When we quarter our Coat with their honours, I think it must be three razors rampant, and three washbals argent in a field sables. KATE. They'l have pretty hansome conveniencies with us, if not portions: in the first place they'l be trim'd for 110 nothing. L U C Y . If they be'nt asham'd to be trim'd, after they have askt blessing. MRS FINICAL.

Act 4. Scene 1. Enter and

TRIM

whispering with

[119

SIR CAUTIOUS TROUBLE-ALL

SIR GRAVITY EMPTY.

Peace, they come, and whispering with their Lord father. TRIM. Your honours may perceive how carefull I have bin: I have remov'd all scruples: the way is plain, and to tell you true, the country Ladies do so long to be complemented, and are so tickled that the men of buisnes will addresse, and bow, and cringe to them, and present, 120 or so, that there's nothing wanting but the Priest. CAUTIOUS. And that Mr Trim I will counsell you, how to contrive. EMPTY. Yes Mr Trim, you shal receive counsell, which may improve you. TRIM. For that Sir I am prepar'd; and the churchyard joynes to the back door; every thing shall be ready; and the Parson has a swift trowling voice, that in a trice will chop up the matter; nay your honours shall see how lie prepare the Ladies. (Steps to the Ladies.) Sweet Ladies 130 tis but a blush the more, the Parson shall be ready, and the back door open to let you into hapines. LUCY. Aye but so suddenly Mr Trim. TRIM. Why can you make too much hast to be happy? why its true, you have great estats, and they honor, let 'em meet, let 'em meet; hang formal delay. KATE.

KATE. B u t i f —

But pish— your honours may venture, there's nothing to be remov'd, but a 'But,' and an 'If.' [Exit. CAUTIOUS. Ladies, we are friends and have bin succesfull in 140 many intrigues, and doubt not, but we shall in this: Persons of buisnes will honor you, and make their way by you, and all will estime you for disposing your selvs to sober—

TRIM.

120) present: to offer compliments or convey greetings (OED, v. II. 11. c.). 128) trowling: an obsolete form of trolling or troll—to move nimbly, as the tongue in speaking; cf. Milton, Paradise Lost, XI, 620: " T o sing, to dance, To dress and troule the Tongue."

120]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

O sobriety carries a great stroke— y gad all in all. But Sir we are scarce acquainted with you. CAUTIOUS. Why Ladies, fame hath brought us acquainted, there's an answer as to that. E M P T Y . Why thus Ladies, we use to answer matters, as matters happen to start up before us; and lie warrant fame has bin pratling of us, lie warrant you. KATE. Indeed we have heard much of you. E M P T Y . O have you so Ladies? and yet not acquainted with us? that's very good yfaith; there we caught you. LUCY. Yet (Sighs.) CAUTIOUS. What d'you sigh for Lady? L U C Y . For fear Sir: Women have bin abus'd. CAUTIOUS. Never Lady by men of sobriety and buisnes, but by light fellows such as Vapor and Slander: we beseech you Madam, give us leave to call in Mr Trim, and let him take order to make us fortunat as to you, and to ourselvs. E M P T Y . Fortunat on all sides, or 'y gad I would not give a pin for't. EMPTY.

LUCY.

Enter

TRIM

150

160

hastily.

Dispatch, dispatch; Sir Richard, Sir Richard— speak quickly, is it don? is it don? CAUTIOUS. Sweet Ladies believe us and speak, for buisnes lyes in a word. L U C Y . I am asham'd to say— T R I M . What? speak out. L U C Y . Nay Mr Trim you are such a man: do you speak sister. KATE. Nay indeed you are the eldest sister. T R I M . Come, come, kisse their hands, and seal the bargain. L U C Y . Fye Mr Trim. KATE. You make us asham'd. CAUTIOUS. Thus with our hands Ladies we seal our hearts. E M P T Y . Y gad hearts and hands all go together. L U C Y . Well, well.

TRIM.

170

Act 4. Scene 1.

[121

Twill be as well as your Sister sayes, I warrant you Mistresse. KATE. Away, away you men are such things. TRIM. So, so all's well, go in Ladies lest we be discover'd. (Exeunt LUCY and KATE. CAUTIOUS. Now honest Trim Speak to thy self preferment. EMPTY. Yes Mr Trim, you shall have a place certainly, we never faile. CAUTIOUS. But what must we do? is Sir Richard coming? T R I M . N O , no, twas but a trick of mine; for I knew, when the Ladies were driven to a pinch, they would declare like a shopkeeper who when his customer is departing tells his lowest price. CAUTIOUS. Excelent Trim. TRIM. But however now begon, and stay at the lodging I shew'd you over against the Church; and let me alone to bring to the rendevouz the licence, Priest, and Ladies; so farewell. CAUTIOUS. Yes, there we'l stay, and pray put the Ladies in mind, we are men of buisnes, and desire 'em to make hast. EMPTY. Aye, Aye, make hast, that we may dispatch. (Exeunt CAUTIOUS and EMPTY, TRIM. Farewell to your sharpsighted honours, I cannot chuse but smile to think how gravely their honours will look upon their Brides, when they know them to be the issues of Roger Trim. EMPTY.

Enter

ISABELLA

and

PHILADELPHIA

180

190

200

sad.

Why how now my sweet pretty Ladies— what melancholy? did ever Trim think he should live to see you sad: why what's the matter? ISABELLA. Nay, no great matter Trim, but— TRIM. But what? dare you not trust me? PHILADELPHIA. Nay tis no great matter. TRIM. Why then you may the easier tell it. ISABELLA. This fighting may bring our names in question.

210

122]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Yes indeed, the Gentlemen are not to be heard of. TRIM. O, is this the matter? sits the wind there about? why Ladies are you afraid that such galant fellows as Mr Worthy, and Lovetruth are to be hurt by flye-blowes? ISABELLA. Nay we are not afraid of any in particular— but of— TRIM. But of those two; come ne'r blush for the matter; they 220 deserv'd to be lov'd; they hurt by such things as onely look like men by the help of me and Frisk theyr Taylor? PHILADELPHIA. But you are mistaken Trim. TRIM. But I am not mistaken, nor will not be mistaken; yet I'le get two licenses ready; and the Parson will be piping hot, for he will be ready warm'd upon my service. ISABELLA. Nay, fye Trim. TRIM. That 'fye' may be better bestow'd: Ladies I must leave you a litle; I shal be happy for ever, so; and you shall 230 be happy, so: lie but order matters, and make my appearance in a trice. (Exit TRIM, ISABELLA. But if these Rogues should hurt 'em basely? PHILADELPHIA. Or murder 'em? ISABELLA. By all that's good we'd revenge 'em. PHILADELPHIA. Prithee how? ISABELLA. Why, I would bribe a Jury to hang one, though 'twere with my estate. PHILADELPHIA. And I'de hang t'other, though I marry'd the foreman on't. PHILADELPHIA.

Enter

VAPOR

and

SLAUNDER

laughing.

How now? hey day. The jest my merry men all? VAPOR. Now, wou'd I may never stir Ladies: ha, ha. (Laughs.) SLANDER. Your pardon dear Ladies. ISABELLA. Why Gentlemen, are you to laugh for a wager? PHILADELPHIA. And I warrant, we are to judge, whom it becoms best. ISABELLA.

PHILADELPHIA.

Act 4. Scene 1.

[123

Really Ladies we ask your pardon, but it was so pretty an accident, I swear I can't tell it without laughing—ha, ha, prithee Tom tell it—ha, ha. 250 SLANDER. As I live Jack I have laugh'd so much, that I have scarce breath— ha, ha. VAPOR. Nay faith Tom you shall help. ISABELLA. Pray Gentlemen if it be so pretty tell it us in parts. SLANDER. Ne'r stir Jack tis wittily thought on. PHILADELPHIA. Come then, begin in a right key. VAPOR. You know Ladies, there past some certain whispers— ha ha ha. ISABELLA. Now Sir you should answer in a base voice— ha ha ha. 260 PHILADELPHIA. Begin agen good Treble. VAPOR. Nay Ladies, you interrupt us. ISABELLA. Peace Sister. VAPOR. Why as I was a saying, according to the custom of such whispers, we agreed to fight. SLANDER. And a place was appointed. VAPOR. And as I was going along, a fancy came into my head, that these were pittiful fellows; Sayes I, 'Tom'— SLANDER. NO Jack, 'twas I said 'Jack.' VAPOR. By your pardon Tom. 270 SLANDER. By your favor twas I said 'Jack,' by the same token, 'twas at the backside of the red Lyon in Holburn; I must not be over born Jack. VAPOR. And I as litle as any man Tom; I stand to't, that 'twas I said 'Tom,' when we came in sight of Lambs Conduit. SLANDER. I grant you that Jack, when we came to Lambs conduit. ISABELLA. We rejoyce Gentlemen at this right understanding. VAPOR. Madam, honor is jealous, but by this you may per- 280 ceive that Lambs conduit was the place appointed: I VAPOR.

272) red Lyon: a favorite place for duels was behind the Red Lyon Inn, near Lamb's Conduit; cf. Thomas Durfey's Epilogue to Madam Fickle: "Meet me tomorrow in Lambs-Conduit Fields." 281) place appointed: this episode has unintended ironic overtones: Buckingham himself had failed to show up for a duel in 1666.

124]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

cannot hold laughing— ha, h a — prithee Tom speak— ha, ha. SLANDER. Why being there Ladies and walking a long time up and down, and beginning to suspect the Gentlemen were full of peace upon second thoughts, upon a suddain— really I cannot speak for Laughing— ha, ha, ha, help Jack—ha, ha, ha. VAPOR. We saw two peep out of a ditch, and perceived they were our enemies, but— ha, ha, ha, help me Tom. SLANDER. As soon as they spy'd us they fell a running with such speed, that I shall dye with laughing. ISABELLA. Why, what needed they to have come thither? VAPOR. O Madam tis common, very common: some to get a name, wil get a quarrell, and hide by the appointed place, till the enemy is gon, and then appear, or if he don't come swear out his own reputation. PHILADELPHIA (aside). Upon my life these two raskals have bin at this hide and seek, and lay their bastard-fears to wrong Fathers. ISABELLA. And what's becom of your enemies? VAPOR. Why Madam, since they dare not fight with English Gentlemen, I suppose they'l match themselvs with Irish footmen—ha ha ha; for they are dam'd fleet. SLANDER. Faith Jack that was witty. Enter

WORTHY

and

LOVETRUTH

whilst they are

laughing.

Now Phil, for a storm, the clouds gather. So merry Gentlemen? LOVETRUTH. Whats here, a puppet play? PHILADELPHIA. They begin to fall to signes. ISABELLA. We shall have still musique. SLANDER. Jack, what's to be don? VAPOR. Take no notice Tom, but salute 'em and creep away; Ladies we kiss your hands: Gentlemen your servants. (Sing going out in a coranto movement.) ISABELLA. WORTHY.

313.1) going out: the fops start to leave the stage, but their escape is prevented. 313.1) coranto: a running dance; a coranto movement is a swift pace; the word appears twice in The Rehearsal.

Act 4. Scene 1.

[125

Your Servant Ladies. Nay, my fine Gentlemen a word I beseech you. VAPOR. Well Sir, your buisnes. LOVETRUTH. Nay Sir, you must to the book too. ISABELLA (aside). How they look Phil, like lewd prentices cal'd for the accompt of the cash by sowr masters. SLANDER. Well Sir, the matter, we have buisnes. WORTHY. You shall have more, pray what discourse have you had with these Ladies. VAPOR. That's very pretty yfaith: your servants, your servants. WORTHY. Stir a foot, and you shall be strangled in your own ribands. ISABELLA (aside). 'Slid, we'l tell 'em Phil, second me in my way. Why Gentlemen, we dare own, what they said to us. WORTHY. How's this? PHILADELPHIA. We do not fear who knows, what we permit to be said to us. LOVETRUTH. Hey-day! VAPOR (aside). Cheer up Tom— By all that's good you ought to be ador'd. SLANDER. Realy your justice is as sublime as your beauty. ISABELLA. The matter's not much Gentlemen; tis only that— VAPOR. Nay Madam, lie swear you'l injure yourselvs to give such fellows the least satisfaction. PHILADELPHIA. Aye, but for our own honours. SLANDER. Pish, despise 'em, lie tell your Ladyship a pretty jest. ISABELLA. Nay, nay they shall know it: why Gentlemen these Galants waited for you at the appointed place with their swords. PHILADELPHIA. And you made a passe with your heels. LOVETRUTH. Was this the Romance of your adventures Gentlemen? SLANDER. WORTHY.

317) book: to make a person give evidence on oath. Thus the fops must give an account of themselves, not just slip away.

320

330

340

126]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Pretty raskals; scavengers of lyes; do you come to lay down your filth here? VAPOR. A Ladies chamber is no place— SLANDER. No, that's your protection. LOVETRUTH. If you urge us, it shan't be yours, Raskall. WORTHY. I have thought of an expedient, Lovetruth (since we must not violât the sanctuary of a Ladies chamber) for I have not a farthing worth of patience left about me. 'Slife the rogues smile: I heard of some Baylifs, that not daring to arrest a man in Grays inn walks, tost him over the wall, and arrested him on t'other side, and so prithee lets thrust the rogues out of the room, and cut their throats without. LOVETRUTH. A reasonable motion, come. ISABELLA. Hold: why, how now Gentlemen, are you angry? WORTHY. If your Ladyship will please to give us leave, we are

WORTHY.

very angry. At what? WORTHY. At lyes. ISABELLA. What lyes? WORTHY. At those, that were told you by these Mandrakes, things gotten by hangmen. VAPOR. Ha, ha Madam we despise 'em, and therfore we are not concern'd. SLANDER. Not we, faith— (Sings.) WORTHY. Why d'hear you brace of impudences? did we not find you two in a ditch? and did you not rouze like frighted deer? LOVETRUTH. And did not you make your ribands fly like streamers on a ship under sayle? WORTHY. And did you tell your own shames under our names? VAPOR. Ha, ha Tom didst ever hear the like? WORTHY. Wonderfull impudence! what thinks your Ladyship of these Knights errant?

350

360

ISABELLA.

351) chamber: the reference here arid in lines 355, 438 and 454 further indicates a location for this scene different from that for the rest of the play.

370

380

Act 4. Scene!.

[127

Think Sir? why we think that you injure them; I judge, as I should, of a cause never the better for a crosse Bill. PHILADELPHIA. A Parrat story, just as you are taught. VAPOR. Now, wou'd I may ne'er stir, if nature ever framed such generous persons. WORTHY. Why, tis well: what rogues were we to love these 390 women that like outsides. LOVETRUTH. And to pay devotion to those that believe in lyes. ISABELLA. And why must we believe in you Gentlemen, sooner than in persons bred in the Nurseries of honor? PHILADELPHIA. And who in the highest sphear of breeding have bin lights to others. ISABELLA. Who understand punctilios. WORTHY. Good. PHILADELPHIA. And weigh their breath. 400 LOVETRUTH. Excellent. ISABELLA. Know Grandeur. PHILADELPHIA. Understand equipage. ISABELLA. The best essences. PHILADELPHIA. The choicest powders. ISABELLA. To match ribands. PHILADELPHIA. Mount feathers. ISABELLA. Make legs. PHILADELPHIA. Kisse the Ladies litle dogs. ISABELLA. Dance. 410 PHILADELPHIA. Sing. WORTHY. Dissemble, swear, jeer, lie, theeve, hang— I shall be mad: come Lovetruth; Ladies your servants: we are the cowards, dam'd cowards, and fools too, dam'd fools. VAPOR. Truth will out Tom; they confesse, and we forgive 'em. SLANDER. Aye, aye, Jack, most divine Ladies really Jack. ISABELLA.

386) crosse Bill: a bill filed in Chancery by a defendant against the plaintiff or other codefendants. 387) Parrat: parrot.

128]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Nay, nay Gentlemen: you have a pretty good repute in your countrey; but it may be twas only for 420 thumping it at cudgels; or fighting with Keepers at Quarterstaff; but sharpes is another matter, I promise you. PHILADELPHIA. And a rapier with a nimble french thrust, La, La. WORTHY. Its very true Ladies; and any thing els is true that you have a mind to say, and as true as any thing these Gentlemen ever did say, or ever will say. So farewell kind Ladies. ISABELLA. Nay, pray stay, it may be you may be wrong'd. 430 PHILADELPHIA. Tis possible. ISABELLA. By my troth now tis against Magna Charta not to bring an Englishman to a faire Tryall. VAPOR. Tom, these are witches. SLANDER (aside). Wou'd we were in the ditch agen. ISABELLA. Come Gentlemen, for matter of fact? WORTHY. What turn now? ISABELLA. We'l lend you our chamber for the stage; Come for the Prize. PHILADELPHIA. Nay to't Gentlemen, out with your direful 440 steels, your rods of correction. VAPOR. What does your Ladyship mean? ISABELLA. Why that you should fight: draw Gentlemen: we have bin us'd to see bloud; not a feast at our Town, but there are abundance of bloudy skonces. WORTHY. Be but so good as to tell us honestly, don't you abuse us? LOVETRUTH. Speak quickly. ISABELLA. Upon our words we don't. WORTHY. Lovetruth, kisse their feet quickly, and to our 450 matters. Come my perfum'd stinkards, as to try the title of the ditch. (Draw.) ISABELLA.

422) sharpes: fighting in earnest with unbated swords, in contradistinction to fencing; cf. Shadwell, Epsom Wells (1672): " S i n c e they were so much too hard for us at Blunts, we were fools to go to Sharps with t h e m . " 445) skonces: obsolete form of sconce, a jocular term for the head (OED). 452) S.D. Draw: both Worthy and Lovetruth draw their swords.

Act 4. Scene 1.

[129

Dispatch, or— What in a Lady's chamber? pretty breeding yfaith. ISABELLA. Nay Sir, we give leave. PHILADELPHIA. Nay, I beseech you Gentlemen be not so modest. SLANDER. Really Madam not in your chamber for a world. ISABELLA. But Sir 'twoud be an obligation by way of diversion to your injur'd Mistresses, a pass or two for our 460 sakes. VAPOR. Really Madam neither Tom nor I have our pumps here, and we are so us'd to fence in 'em, that it were a dishonorable disadvantage: To shew you now realy, there is no loonging in high heel shoes. (Try to loong.) WORTHY. Lovetruth, lets break their legs, that they may be carry'd about no more by those rotten engines. ISABELLA. Stay Gentlemen, no more, they are unmasqu't; and your honor preserved by us, that ever did estime it. WORTHY. Lovetruth, lets kisse their hands. 470 LOVETRUTH. And never let them go. PHILADELPHIA. But what shall the Gentlemen do the while? WORTHY. Well rememb'red Lady, why as we found 'em so we'l leave 'em. Come Gentlemen to your To= roy— VAPOR. Why, if it be in complaisance to shew you the movement of a Courant, we are not nice; come Tom— LOVETRUTH. Nay come Gentlemen, bee not so long a starting. SLANDER. Nay faith we love a Frolique, come Jack— WORTHY. And as you tender your shin bones, give not over, till the Ladies permit you. 480 VAPOR. Aye, Aye, we shall be so civili. LOVETRUTH.

VAPOR.

Enter

SIR RICHARD

as they dance and sing.

How now! whats here to do? hey, hey, one follow t'other; what! here's Chicken a chicken a trayntro. WORTHY. We came but just in Sir as you did. ISABELLA. Enough Gentlemen, (ISABELLA steps to him.)

SIR RICHARD.

465) S.D. ¡oong: lunge.

130]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

(as out of wind). Your Ladyships servant. I hope they have crackt their winds. SIR RICHARD. Pray Gentlemen, what exercise was this? SLANDER. Dancing Sir. SIR RICHARD. Do you cal this dancing 'To= roy-To= roy'? (SIR RICHARD imitates.) VAPOR and SLANDER. Ladies, your servants. SIR RICHARD. Dancing with all my heart: pray stay a litle Gentlemen; without there; cal my beefeating slaves, to dance their Christmas gambol, dispatch— Tis an imitation of foot ball playing; twas an exercise that in my time I have lov'd, and given many a tall fellow the trip upon the ' G o = b y = h e y ' : an ingenious servant of mine, and a good foot bal-player one Christmas presented my old exercise in a Dance— come away with it nimbly. VAPOR

WORTHY.

490

500

(The Dance.) Now my fine Galants, how do you like it? Why it would serve in the dull countrey, but here it would seem ridicule. SIR RICHARD. 'Ridicule'! as I take it that's a plain word finely spoil'd: troth Gentlemen, wee had best part, for I see our diversions cannot please one another. VAPOR and SLANDER. Your servants. SIR RICHARD. Nay pray Gentlemen in your 'To=roy, t o = r o y . ' WORTHY. YOU hear Gentlemen. VAPOR. Well, well, 'To=roy, To=roy.' (They go out kickt.) WORTHY. Lovetruth, the rising kick. SIR RICHARD. Pray Ladies, what's the meaning of all this? WORTHY. If you please Sir, in the parlor you shall have all the story; your Daughters have made coxcombs of 'em once more. SIR RICHARD. Then once more come hug me G irles; come lets go in and hear the story: prithee Girle, think of somthing, that I may give you. SIR RICHARD.

VAPOR.

510

Act 4. Scene 1.

[131

We want nothing Sir. Did I think I should ever so much as smile in this Towne— Come Gentlemen, one laughing bout more, I have something come from the Country, you shall see it, and tast it, and over it our Story. (Exeunt.

ISABELLA.

520

SIR RICHARD.

Enter

TRIM

and puis back

ISABELLA

and

PHILADELPHIA.

TRIM. What mad work have you made Ladies? ISABELLA. How now man! why dost thou look so ghostly? are the beacons fir'd? TRIM. Yes, the chief is, Mrs Finical flames out, set afire by Vapor and Slander: she swears she'l be reveng'd, and tell your father, you love Worthy and Lovetruth. PHILADELPHIA. What shall we do? ISABELLA. This may be troublesome. TRIM. Come, come, dispatch matters: if you have a mind, you understand me. ISABELLA. But this jade may be quicker than we can be. PHILADELPHIA. Lets shut her up in the room, where she keeps cold meat. ISABELLA. Hang her, she'l rumble there like an earthquake. (She studyes.) I have i t — go you and tell Mrs Finical I stay to speak with her, quickly man. TRIM. And what then? ISABELLA. Trouble not yourself, you shall have notice how to act your part— nay begon, tell her tis earnest buisnes. TRIM. Well, I goe— The Parson is at hand. ISABELLA. Well, well. (Exit TRIM. PHILADELPHIA. Now Sister, whats your Plot? ISABELLA. Why we must collogue with this Finical, and pretend to have these raskals, or she may spoyle— PHILADELPHIA. What? ISABELLA. A buisnes I suspect you have a mind to. PHILADELPHIA. And not you? 527) beacons fir'd: signalling an invasion. 547) collogue: to wheedle, or flatter (Dr. Johnson).

530

540

550

132]

THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

Nay, I'le do as thou dost: in plain English shall we venture upon 'em? P H I L A D E L P H I A . If ever trafique with a man, we must venture. I S A B E L L A . And better with these, than others. P H I L A D E L P H I A . Mariage is a long voyage. I S A B E L L A . And apt for storms; but thither we are bound. We are not reveng'd enough; hark you Phil— (Whispers.) P H I L A D E L P H I A . I understand you. I S A B E L L A . Be ready, and now withdraw befor Finicall appears. ISABELLA.

Enter

560

FINICAL.

She comes; vanish. (Exit P H I L A D E L P H I A , Did you send to speak with me Madame? I S A B E L L A . I did Mrs Finicall. MRS F I N I C A L . What may your pleasure be? I S A B E L L A . Why, I am so asham'd. MRS F I N I C A L . Perhaps you may have reason. I S A B E L L A . I wou'd desire— I doe so blush. MRS F I N I C A L . Tis not an ill signe; the heart will speak— (Aside.) I have found her. I S A B E L L A . Pray do you know where Mr Vapor is? MRS F I N I C A L . Why d'yee ask? I S A B E L L A . I wou'd be willing to speak with him. MRS F I N I C A L . I swear Madam I cannot be a person that ought to pretend to understand friendship, but I must assure your Ladyship, hee's full of resentments, and his friend too. I S A B E L L A . But— MRS F I N I C A L . Nay Madam, no 'Buts'— they know breeding, no more but so. I S A B E L L A . I believe it. MRS F I N I C A L . Whether you believe it, or no, I know it. MRS F I N I C A L .

ISABELLA. B u t

Nay, I'le tell you, there is no 'But' in the case, the world allows 'em without a 'But' for most accomplisht persons.

MRS F I N I C A L .

570

580

Act 4. Scene 1.

[133

It may be, I think so too. They care not for 'maybe's': there's no 'maybe's' in the case neither. ISABELLA. But pray hear me. I desire but to speak one poor word with Mr Vapor. MRS FINICAL. I'le assure you, he's highly incenst; and I hold my self disoblig'd— ISABELLA. Nay, good sweet dear Landlady. MRS FINICAL. Now you can give fine words: to put such an affront on persons of such value, such regard, such breeding, such parts, such bon mines. ISABELLA. We were forc't to do it, to conceal our inclinations for 'em, since so contrary to my fathers humor. MRS FINICAL. May this be reality? ISABELLA. Help me but to speak with him, and I'le make him full reparations— if he loves me. MRS FINICAL. Nay, fy upon him; he loves you but too much: well tis doubtfull, but lie try what may be don; I have some influence. ISABELLA. I shall so long to hear from you: I'le requite you, dear honey, sweet Landlady, I am so asham'd. (Exit. MRS FINICAL. O the wind is chang'd; I did imagine such perfections must at last scatter charms. ISABELLA.

MRS FINICAL.

Enter

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PHILADELPHIA.

Umh, here's t'other Lady bird, as sure as I live sick of the same disease: I'le seem reserv'd. (She walks gravely.) I understand the manner of an intrigue. PHILADELPHIA. Mistress, Mistress Finical, (FINICAL looks over her shoulder.) MRS FINICAL. Humh. PHILADELPHIA. I have a request to you. MRS FINICAL. T O me Lady? no, no, no, sure I am too inconsiderable. PHILADELPHIA. Nay Landlady, if you be unkind I shall cry.

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THE COUNTRY

GENTLEMAN

MRS FINICAL. Tis so: what's the buisnes that your Landladies now in request? I thought Mr Trim had bin the person: 620 he's witty and trusty. P H I L A D E L P H I A . Nay good Landlady, doe me but one kindnes. MRS FINICAL. Kindnes, what kindnes? P H I L A D E L P H I A . I would fain speak— MRS FINICAL. With Mr Slaunder— nay never blush. P H I L A D E L P H I A . And will you be so good? MRS FINICAL. Well, well, get you in; I am good natur'd, and be sure you make him reparation. Enter

TRIM.

TRIM. Mistress, your father cals earnestly for you. P H I L A D E L P H I A . I £o Mr T r i m — (To F I N I C A L . ) Remember. MRS FINICAL. Pish, a w a y — so fond. (Exit P H I L A D E L P H I A . TRIM. Why how now Mrs Finical? what, privat with the Ladies? MRS FINICAL. No, crafty Mr Trim, you are the man, you are Hee. TRIM. Why that politique smile, or rather grin? MRS FINICAL. Get you about your buisnes neat Sir, there are fourpenny customers wayting at your shop, or the fellow to grind old razors. TRIM. Very good, and I am thrown out of the Cabali— tis well. M R S F I N I C A L . N O , good Mr Trim, you are for the honorable grave men of matters, I am but a foolish woman that admire outsides. TRIM. And why that mump? has your Ladyship a thistle in your chops? M R S F I N I C A L . N O , Sir Jackanapes I compose my mouth to as much beseeming advantage, as the best woman in this, or the next parish. TRIM. Nay sure now you have a nettle under your tayle, you winch so. 651) winch: obsolete form of wince; winch."

see Hamlet,

III, ii: " L e t the gall'd jade

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Act 4. Scene 1.

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When I winch Sirrha it shal be to give you a kick o'th' chops, and beat out more teeth, than thou hast drawn this fortnight.

MRS FINICAL.

TRIM. Indeed-la?

Yes Sir, for as to that art your custom is spoyl'd, ever since you tyed a fellow by the tooth with a string to the cieling, and snatching away the stool made the beam draw it. TRIM. That, I take it, was the time when you first strook a ground in these parts, and by two Pimps were given out for a rich widow, till fame cracking by the weight of the matter, you were reduc'd to let lodgings, to buy brown bread, small beere, and lac'd pinners. MRS FINICAL. Sirrah, sirrah if I had not buisnes— TRIM. Nay, come Landlady, faith we'l be friends, come— tell me a litle— MRS FINICAL. I'le see thee hang'd first: shift for thy self Varlet: tell thee? ha, ha, ha: tell thee? ha, ha— (Exit. TRIM. She's workt, finely workt; how I love these Ladies— 'twill all do, my mind gives 'twill, and then Trim's made for ever; now to my buisnes— and— MRS FINICAL.

That I may see my matters how to handle, Come Hymen and light up thy farthing candle. Actus quarti finis.

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